Ontario standing committee to meet, assess road safety bill

Toronto, Ontario — March 3, 2015 — The Standing Committee on General Government is meeting to consider an omnibus bill aiming to make Ontario roads safer.

Bill 31, the Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act was referred to the committee on February 24, to amend the Highway 407 East Act, 2012 and the Highway Traffic Act in respect of various matters and to make a consequential amendment to the Provincial Offences Act.

The committee will be holding public hearings in Toronto on March 9 and 11.

If passed into law, the proposed bill would raise distracted driving fines to a range of $300 to $1,000, adjust the Mandatory Vehicle Branding Program to focus on consumer protection against vehicle fraud when purchasing used vehicles, and restrict the Ministry of Transportation from issuing or validating permits for those with unpaid fines.

Under the bill, drivers must allow 3 metres of room when passing a cyclist, and those who violate an ignition interlock condition on their licence under a conduct review face impoundment of their vehicle.

Bill 31 also requires that motorists slow down and move into an adjacent lane when approaching a parked tow truck with their lights flashing — an amendment to the province’s Move Over law that Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) members have been actively pushing for since late 2014.

The committee has directed that those wishing to make an oral presentation on Bill 31 should contact the Clerk of the Committee as soon as possible, as witnesses will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Those who do not wish to make an oral presentation, but wish to comment on the bill may send written submissions to the Clerk of the Committee by 6 p.m. on March 11.

The Clerk of the Committee, Sylwia Przezdziecki, can be reached at 416-325-3515 or sprzezdziecki@ola.org.

Written submissions should be sent to:

Room 1405, Whitney Block
Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON
M7A 1A2

An electronic version of Bill 31 can be found at www.ontla.on.ca.

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