Starting Saturday, there will be tougher penalties for careless driving and endangering pedestrians.
Drivers convicted of careless driving causing bodily harm or death will face fines up to $50,000, a licence suspension of up to five years and up to two years in jail. They will also get six demerit points.
“Time and time again we’ve seen families devastated because a loved one is hurt or killed by a dangerous driver, and the driver walks away with no more than a slap on the wrist,” Transportation Minister John Yakabuski said in a release. “This new charge sends a clear message that dangerous driving won’t be tolerated.”
Fines have also increased to a maximum of $1,000 and four demerit points for drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians at crossovers, school crossings and crosswalks.
Drivers must yield the entire road at these crossings and can’t move off until pedestrians have finished crossing the road completely.
So far this year, police say inattentive drivers caused close to 6,000 crashes across the province, killing 31 people.
“The number of pedestrians being injured and killed on our roads has reached a critical level,” Yakabuski said. “Tougher penalties help, but we need everyone to step up and do their part by driving safely and responsibly.”