Ontario Building Safer Roads and Communities

In Provincial

Proposed changes will help combat impaired driving, auto theft and improve trucking safety

On May 16, 2024, the Ontario government introduced legislation that, if passed, would improve community safety and protect people and families from road users who engage in dangerous and illegal activities such as impaired driving, stunt driving and auto theft. The Safer Roads and Communities Act would also strengthen the province’s commercial vehicle enforcement program and improve e-bike safety.

“While Ontario has some of the safest roads in North America, one in three fatalities is caused by impaired driving and one in five involves large trucks,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister of Transportation. “That is why our government is introducing tough new legislation that will target road users who engage in reckless behaviour including driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, stunt driving and auto theft.”

The Safer Roads and Communities Act would increase the powers of Ministry of Transportation Enforcement Officers (TEOs) by allowing them to exceed posted speed limits for enforcement purposes, compel trucks and commercial vehicles to pull over and confiscate fraudulent or suspended driver’s licences. Additionally, the government will lead a comprehensive review of commercial driving training and hold provincewide stakeholder roundtables to seek industry and public feedback on measures to improve road safety.

“This bill is paving the way by ensuring that enforcement officers have all the necessary powers to keep our roads safe and that our province has the best qualified commercial drivers operating to meet the growing demands of the Ontario supply chain,” said Stephen Laskowski, President of the Ontario Trucking Association. “We applaud the government for the proposed changes and launching industry discussions to identify gaps and meaningful improvements to keep Ontario’s roads safe for everyone.”

As the popularity of e-bikes continues to rise in Ontario, so does the reported number of collisions, significant injuries and fatalities. The proposed legislation would enable the government to categorize more dangerous e-bikes into distinct classes such as by maximum weight or speed, to improve safety on the road for pedestrians, bikes and cars.

Also included in the Safer Roads and Communities Act are proposed changes that would introduce escalating licence suspensions for people convicted of auto theft and stunt driving and a lifetime licence suspension for anyone convicted of alcohol or drug-impaired driving causing death.

Quick Facts

  • In 2023, 78 per cent of reported e-bike collisions resulted in serious injuries.
  • In 2022, 20,000 drivers were suspended for impaired driving – that’s one every 26 minutes.
  • Every 14 minutes, a vehicle is stolen in Ontario, with Toronto experiencing a 78 per cent increase in violent carjackings since 2021.
  • In February, the Ontario government introduced the Get it Done Act which will make it easier and faster to build transit, housing and other critical infrastructure, while also helping Ontarians to keep more of their hard-earned money.
Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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