Ontario’s New Crosswalk Rule Can Be Confusing For Drivers
On January 1, 2016, Ontario implemented its new crosswalk rule as part of the “Making Ontario Roads Safer Act”, Bill 31 and immediately there was confusion amongst drivers regarding the law’s interpretation. Drivers were confused as the rule suggested that they must wait until pedestrians crossed completely to the other side at a crosswalk or crossover. Many motorists interpreted a crossover as an intersection, suggesting that by waiting until the roadway was completely cleared at such intersections, creating increased traffic and wait times.
Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation clarified the rule by defining what a pedestrian crossover was. The MTO confirmed that a pedestrian crossover was “a defined, painted crosswalk with overhead lights which flash when triggered by a pedestrian who presses a button.” In comparison, a school crossing is a pedestrian crossing where a school crossing guard helps pedestrians to cross the road and carries a crossing stop sign. In both types of crossings, with the implementation of the new crosswalk rule, drivers are required to wait until pedestrians clear the roadway completely before advancing through the area. In the past, drivers were not required to wait until pedestrians were completely off the road. In most cases, drivers would inch out after the pedestrian cleared their vehicle.
Crosswalk Rule Applies to Drivers and Cyclists
The new rule applies to both drivers and cyclists. Failure to follow the new legislation will result in a fine ranging from $150-$500 for both drivers and cyclists and the possibility of demerit points for drivers. At Young Drivers of Canada, students are taught that pedestrians have the right of way. The new Ontario rule supports Young Drivers of Canada’s commitment to make Ontario’s roadways safer!