1Earlier this year Ontario implemented a new rule regarding pedestrian crossovers and school crossings. The new rule states that all drivers and cyclists must stop and yield the whole roadway at pedestrian crossovers, school crossings and other locations where a crossing guard is present. At these specified crossings, drivers and cyclists are required to make a full stop, and to proceed only after pedestrians and crossing guards have crossed the road completely. Drivers and cyclists who fail to comply with this new law may face fines ranging from $150 to $500 and three demerit points. These fines also double in Community Safety Zones located near schools and public areas.

The new law is designed to increase pedestrian safety, specifically for school children and crossing guards, as they are among the most vulnerable road users in Ontario. The newly-implemented law is also a response to recommendations from the Chief Coroner’s Report on Pedestrian Deaths released in 2012 as well as numerous requests from municipalities and safety organizations from across the province.

But there has been some confusion regarding the new rule, as some drivers misunderstand when and where the rule applies. The main point of confusion comes from the fact that the new law followed at pedestrian crossovers, but not at pedestrian crosswalks.

So what is the difference between a crossover and a crosswalk?

A pedestrian crossover is specifically indicated by pavement markings, signs, pedestrian push buttons and overhead lights.

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A pedestrian crosswalk, on the other hand, is usually a part of a roadway at an intersection. These are indicated with stop signs, traffic signals and pedestrian signals.

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Because the new Ontario law only applies to crossovers, drivers and cyclists at regular crosswalks, like those found at intersections, are still able to proceed through the roadway once pedestrians have successfully cleared their vehicle.

While the new law aims to provide increased safety for Ontario’s most vulnerable road users, keeping Ontario roads safe is the responsibility of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation recommends that both drivers and pedestrians should be aware of the safety risks they face, in order to prevent collisions and injuries.

Drivers should:

  • Always look for pedestrians, especially when turning
  • Watch out for Community Safety Zone signs that indicate where public safety is a special concern
  • Watch for children and drive cautiously and slowly through school zones, residential areas and other areas where children may be walking or playing
  • Be patient, especially with seniors or pedestrians with disabilities who need more time to cross the road

Similarly, pedestrians should:

  • Cross only at marked crosswalks, crossovers or traffic lights
  • Make sure drivers see you before you cross. If the driver is stopped, make eye contact before stepping into the road
  • Watch for traffic turning at intersections or turning into and leaving driveways
  • Wear bright or light-coloured clothing or reflective strips, especially at dusk or when it is dark

If you or someone you know has been injured while crossing the road, contact our personal injury lawyers today by phone at 1-855-744-9228 ,by email at personalinjurygroup@harrisonpensa.com or live chat with one of our representatives at www.harrisonpensapersonalinjury.com.

A word from our clients

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"My wife was involved in a very serious motor vehicle collision several years ago, and luckily she survived, but unfortunately she suffered some injuries."
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January 8, 2016

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