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Harsher penalties for car accidents causing harm to pedestrians

The Ontario Minister of Transportation, John Yakabuski, says irresponsible and unsafe driving continues to injure and kill pedestrians. He says the level of pedestrian vs. car accidents has become critical. For this reason, harsher penalties to ensure safer roads for all came into effect on Sept. 1, and he says these changes will convey a clear message of zero tolerance for dangerous driving.

Ontario drivers must allow pedestrians to cross the entire road at all crossings and only continue driving when pedestrians have reached the other side. This applies to marked crossings and those at which a crossing guard is present. Drivers who do not yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, school crossings and crossovers will also face increased penalties of four demerits and maximum fines of $1,000.

In the future, drivers who are convicted on charges of careless driving that caused injuries or death to pedestrians will face fines of up to $50,000. They may also receive six demerit points and suspension of driver's licenses for up to five years. Furthermore, a conviction could include a jail sentence of up to two years.

While these stricter measures might lower the numbers of pedestrian vs. car accidents, pedestrians will continue to be vulnerable every time they cross Ontario roads. If driver negligence caused such accidents, injured victims and surviving family members of deceased pedestrians would retain the right to pursue financial relief. Recovering economic and emotional damages is typically a complicated process that is best navigated by an experienced Ontario personal injury and wrongful death lawyer.

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