New Ontario Laws: ‘Dooring’ Cyclists and Distracted Driving Could Now Cost You Up to $1000

It shouldn’t take a monetary loss for people to stop texting and driving – loss of life should be enough – but somehow many drivers still don’t get it.

Banking on the fact that most of us do, in fact, only give a sh*t about matters of life or death when there’s a financial consequence, Ontario law has almost quadrupled the fine for distracted driving.

Drivers caught on their phone behind the wheel will now face a maximum penalty of $1000, compared to $280 before.

It’s the most significant revision among a series of amendments to laws that govern humans on wheels. Other changes, which will be officially signed into law soon, include:

– Fines of up to $500 for biking without proper reflectors or required bicycle lights.
– Only school buses can be painted chrome yellow – which, pending decent personal taste, should have never been an issue in the first place.
All drivers must give cyclists a one-metre berth when passing at all times.
Stoned drivers will face the same penalties as drunk drivers.
– Motorists who ‘door‘ cyclists will face fines of up to $1,000 and three demerit points.
– Skateboarders will be banned from hitching a ride from a moving car, a law that also extends to inline skaters and “any other type of conveyance.”

The new laws and accompanying fines aim to create a more bike-friendly province – essential, by the way – and crack down on distracted driving, which provincial police have called ‘the number one killer on roads‘.