The most common pedestrian deaths occur amongst children and senior citizens. These two age groups account for over 60% of pedestrian related deaths. Because of this, Toronto has restructured their laws surrounding these occurrences and has increased the attention to upholding these new laws. Children often find themselves the victims of pedestrian/traffic accidents because of their size. While failing health and stability relates to the increase in senior citizen related accidents. Most often child related traffic accidents occur near school zones or with school buses. As a whole, most pedestrian traffic accidents occur because of a violation of traffic/driving regulations. The new laws have been put into place to circumvent these commonalities.
In January 2016, one of the most significant changes to traffic rules involved the creation of one that instructs drivers to remain stopped at pedestrian crossings. In the past, motor vehicle drivers were required to remain stopped only while pedestrians and crossing guards were in their lane. They were free to go as soon as their lane was empty. With the new law, they are required to remain stopped until all pedestrians and crossing guards have exited the roadway. This ensures that unforeseen movement from pedestrians doesn’t interfere with oncoming traffic. The exception to this rule is if the crosswalk is located at a stop sign and/or traffic signal.
Any driver who does not abide by the new rules and regulations faces the consequences of fines up to $500. In areas near schools, parks, and retirement homes these fines are doubled. If caught in violation of this law you will end up paying at least $150. The fine and other repercussions depend on the severity of the accident caused by your violation. If physical injury and/or death occur because of a traffic violation the at-fault party could face consequences above and beyond monetary fines. These laws were created to reduce the risk to pedestrians when interacting with traffic because when it comes to people, cars are bigger and stronger. It is important that drivers are more aware of those around them and take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of everyone on the road, especially those on foot.
On average 20 students are killed in Ontario because of traffic each year and two out of three of them are because of traffic violations. It was an important step in pedestrian safety to change the laws to fit the situations more thoroughly. In order for these new laws to work however, they must be followed. It is the responsibility of motorists to ensure the safety of pedestrians who share the road with them. This is why enforcement of these laws has become more standard and the penalties more of an effect on those who receive them.
However, if you or a loved one has been injured in such an accident, it is important to consider the services of a personal injury lawyer in Kitchener to help file a claim.