Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Ontario drivers to face higher set fines for distracted offences, dooring cyclists

A cyclist rides east along Adelaide St. West past Bay St. on July 15 2014.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Ontario drivers found guilty of dooring a cyclist or distracted driving will face higher set fines and demerit points as of Sept. 1, when new legislation comes into effect.

The "Making Ontario Roads Safer Act", or Bill 31, was unanimously approved in June with the goal of protecting cyclists.

Distracted driving: Under the new laws there will be a set fine of $490, three demerit points and a minimum 30-day suspension for novice drivers for distracted driving. The current minimum is $60. Fines could reach $1,000 and drivers with G1 or G2s could have their licenses suspended on the spot.

Story continues below advertisement

'Dooring' a cyclist: 'Dooring' a cyclist will now carry a set fine of $365 and three points up from $60 and no points.

Passing a cyclist: A new law now means drivers must leave at least one metre when passing a cyclist or face a $110 fine and two demerit points. That fine jumps to $180 when the law is violated in a community safety zone.

Improper lighting on bicycle: Cyclists will also face higher fines under the new laws. The set fine for improper lighting on a bicycle will jump from $20 to $110 on Tuesday. According to the Highway Traffic Act, from a half-hour before sunset until a half-hour after sunrise bicycles must have a white or amber light on the front and a red light or reflector on the back.

The fines listed include the Victim Fine Surcharge and court costs.

"Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Don't use handheld devices or cellphones while driving," said Stephen Del Duca, Ontario's transportation minister, Wednesday in York Region while standing in front of five children wearing bike helmets. "We also need to keep our cyclists, some of the most vulnerable road users, safe."

Starting Jan. 1, 2016, drivers will have to wait until a pedestrian has completely crossed the street at a crossover or school crossing before proceeding.

Starting in the spring cities will have more ability to charge out-of-province drivers caught on red light cameras and penalties for drug-impaired driving will mirror alcohol-impaired driving. Almost half of drivers (45 per cent) killed in Ontario have drugs or alcohol in their systems, according to Life Safer Ontario.

Story continues below advertisement

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram

Add us to your circles

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Digital Editor at Globe Drive

  More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.