Personal Injury

Bill increases penalties for drivers who kill, injure vulnerable road users

By Staff

Re-tabled legislation aimed at improving safety for Ontario’s most vulnerable road users is significant, Toronto critical injury lawyer Patrick Brown tells

Brown — a partner with McLeish Orlando LLP, safety advocate and founding member of the Coalition Vulnerable Road User Laws — joined Jessica Bell, the NDP critic for Transit, to announce legislation aimed at improving safety for pedestrians, cyclists, road construction workers, emergency responders and other vulnerable road users.

“This law will provide important legal protection to vulnerable road users who are not safeguarded by two tons of steel and airbags," he says.

“We need strong penalties to curb road violence. While drivers’ injuries are going down, vulnerable road users are being injured and killed at record levels,” Brown notes. “A small fine for killing or maiming a human being should not be equivalent to the cost of a repairing a dent in your car.

“Our present system is broken, and it is time to change,” he adds.

Bell’s bill strengthens consequences for those who kill or seriously injure vulnerable road users as a result of any driving offence under the Highway Traffic Act. Along with higher penalties, the bill, if passed, would allow a court to order a licence suspension, driver re-education, and community service related to road safety, says a press release.

“This year is not yet over, and in Toronto alone, we have already reached the highest number of combined pedestrian and cyclist deaths in a calendar year since we began tracking this data in 2007,” Bell said in a statement.

The bill was introduced on Nov. 21 during Pedestrian Awareness Month and just days after the World Day of Remembrance for Road Violence Victims.

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