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Making Roads Safer

Ontario Legislature Bill 31 - “Making Ontario Roads Safer Act”

In relation to the subject, the Cobourg Police Service highlights three ways that Bill 31 may affect your driving habits:

As of September 1st, 2015:

Distracted Driving in Ontario is set to increase to nearly $500; the new fine for Distracted Driving will be $400 plus a $90 victim surcharge.  That means drivers, if caught using their hand-held device behind the wheel, will face a penalty of $490 and three demerit points.  A judge can further increase the amount up to $1000, if the case goes to court.  Distracted Driving is a significant and growing issue on our roads, research shows drivers who use their cell phones or smartphones are four times more likely to be in a collision according to statistics from the Ministry of Transportation.

Cyclists are now permitted to use the paved shoulders on unrestricted provincial highways. Where practicable, drivers should maintain a distance of at least one metre when passing cyclists for safety.   The fine range for convictions of ‘dooring’ cyclists is between $300 and $1,000 and raising the demerit points to three.  Cyclists are also permitted to use flashing red lights as a safety feature on bicycles, cyclists who do not use bicycle lights or other reflective materials will face a set fine between $60 to $500.

Bill 31 amends the “Slow Down, Move Over” requirements to include Tow Trucks.  Motorists must slow down and move over to the next lane, similar to the provision given to police, ambulance and fire services.   Tow trucks that are stopped and on the shoulder of the highway providing service with their amber lights activated are included.

The Cobourg Police Services reminds citizens that our Service’s Business Plan (2015 to 2017) pages 30 and 31 identify various road safety goals; citizens identified road safety as the most important concern.  The road safety goals assist the public in utilizing “community roadways as safe as possible through enforcement and educational programs”; further details of the business plan may be located on the internet by querying the Cobourg Police Service webpage at:

Information on Bill 31 may be located on the internet by querying “Ontario Provincial Bill 31”.

The Cobourg Police Service reminds citizens that:   “traffic safety is everyone’s responsibility”.