Town of Mono, ON (Don Butt) Reading the little news letter sent out by the Ministry of Transportation, I realized how many changes there have been to the Highway Traffic Act and regulations for drivers lately. Many of these I have already mentioned but it won’t hurt to review them.

One item that was obvious given that marijuana is going to be legal is that “driving impaired” will now apply to drugs as well as alcohol. This can also include medications that may affect your abilities. If it says “do not drive while taking this” please take this seriously. At roadside this means 3 to 30 day licence suspension and $198 in fines. After a drug expert evaluation this becomes 90 days and fine with vehicle suspension for 7 days.

Something new, to me anyway, is the requirement under the law for drivers when passing a cyclist to stay 1 metre (39”) away from them. This makes a lot of sense, given the cyclists killed by motor vehicles lately. A $110 fine and 2 demerit points upon conviction.

One of the main things nowadays is never drive distracted. This includes cell phones, radios, changing a tape or disc in a player, checking a map, eating while driving and much more. As my friend Doug Annett at the Skid Control School at Oakville, ON says “just drive”.

Motorists – Be alert for pedestrians. Yield at crosswalks, intersections, school crossings and pedestrian crossovers.

Pedestrians – Cross at lights, marked intersections or crosswalks and be visible. This is an old one but important; no smoking in a car with passenger under 16. It is illegal! Oh, and don’t forget, an emergency vehicle at the side of the road with its amber light flashing, you must slow down and move over (one lane or more) when approaching. Fine is $490 and 3 demerits on failure to do so. Good luck and safe motoring.

Safety Tip – Mindfully signal your intentions to other motorists. (This tip comes to you from Doug Annett of the Skid Control School at Oakville, ON http://www.skidcontrolschool.com)

Phone Nos. (a list of valuable numbers to have)
For all emergencies – 911
To report non-emergency incidents or bad drivers 1-800-310-1122
Or by cell phone only *677

Road Watch
To report unsafe driving behaviour contact OPP Communications Centre:
*OPP (*677) on your Cell or
1-888-310-1122 on your Landline.

If you prefer a paper form, our forms are available at Mono Plaza and OPP at Primrose. Please use them, the life you may save could be your own or a loved one.

don_buttDon Butt is currently the Public Relations and Media Contact for the Mono Community Policing Committee. You can visit their Website. If you would like more information on anything covered in Don’s Column or would like to see a topic of public interest or safety covered; contact him here.