Driving along, day to day, just crusing and bam!, police sirens go off, you hear to pull over, and now you’re sweating buckets.

“What did I do, where did I go wrong? I never ran that red light, I allowed the pedestrian to cross the road; what happened?” Not the most pleasant experience, and that’s where this little fun fact comes in to play 😉

So without further delay, the following are 5 astonishing facts you may not have known about.

Number 1. Crossing Over is not cool

There was a time, once the pedestrian has successfully crossed your side of the road, you would be free to continue driving along. Not so any more.  Once a pedestrian has entered the designated pedestrian crossing, even if your side of the road is cleared, as of 2016, you must wait until the pedestrian has fully cleared the crossing before proceeding to move off again.

It is a highly illegal manuver to drive across while they are crossing, attracting a fine between $150 and $500.  Yeah, that’s steep.   It get’s worse though, if you try this manuver in a school or “community safety” zone, you can expect that fine to and loss of points on your record to double.  So you would be looking at $300 to $1000 in fines….ouch!

Oh yeah, a tiny bit more of information, you aren’t allowed to change lanes within 30 metres of a pedestrian crossover.

Number 2. Changing lanes, that solid line isn’t as scary as it seems.

You have always heard, that you should overtake when you see a solid line on the highway, versus the broken strips.  Well, that is not fully the case, you can breath easy, as once it is safe enough to pass the vehicle in front, it is legal to do so.  Just note, if you are not careful and an accident occurs, then you will be charged for it, so don’t be too embolded.

Just, don’t go about changing lanes at an intersection.  That is quite a dangerous thing to do.

Number 3. It’s not only that important call, but that skipped meal and mirror time.

We hear that being distracted while driving is an offence punishable by law, and this is true, but what usually comes to mind when we say “distracted is cellphones.  Note that a distraction is anything that takes away your focus.  So screaming down the road doing 120km+/hr while eating that breakfast you skipped, putting on that final touch of makeup you forgot or drinking that lovely early morning coffee (yumm….), is not cool either.

Now the officer on the side of the road, clocking you with the gun (provided you are within the speed limit), may not pull you over as you are not on a cellphone, if you got into an accident, expect that fine to follow close behind.  So if you must eat, drink or any other activity, take the few seconds to think if where you are going is that much of a rush to get to.  If not, pull over, proceed to make that important call, eat or drink that important morning pick me up or apply that last touch of makeup.  Whatever activity it may be, better to arrive safe, keeping your money and life in tact 🙂

Number 4. That Countdown Clock is to Pedestrians as Amber is to drivers.

Yup, even as a pedestrian we have road laws to obey.  There is one license common among all, the license to moveabout.  As long as you are able to, walking, jogging, wheelchair, etc., is one license we grow up only know the basics.  Look left, right and left again before cross the road, be aware of other persons (pedestrians) using the road, look out for the hit-and-run pedestrian, etc.  Nevertheless, it is not until we are read to go for our vehicle license that we learn of some other little facts, laws, that pedestrians must adhere to, or else face a fine.

For those crossing at a light that uses a countdown clock, it is illegal to start crossing if the countdown has already begun… Yup, you must be thinking, “well, what about those that start the countdown immediately after the opposing light turns green?”.  We agree, this is a problematic situation, wihch is why law enforcement is not so tight against it.  Nevertheless, as a safety measure, it is there to help keep both pedestrians and motorists safe.  As the heading indicates, the Countdown Clock is there to let persons already crossing, know how much time they have left, not to show those who have not started crossing, the amount of time they have to dash across.

Number 5.  Whew! You made it to the last little tid bit. DUI.

So. You lived in Ontario for a long time, or you just came to Ontario for the first time, Driving Under the Influence (DUI), will still bite you if you get caught.  In Ontario, the commonly known rule is that if you end up having to do a roadside sobriety test, and you get a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more, this is a serious criminal offence.  The results can be that losing your license, getting your vehicle impounded (yeah, that can happen), jail time and also a criminal record, among other things.  That’s a lot to think about when you’re going out to that bar or party.

Well, we got some sad news.  Did you know that in Ontario, law enforcement may suspend your license for three whole days or more, if you tested positive for a blood alcohol level of 0.05 upwards but less than 0.08.  If you ever heard someone say, “warn range” while refering to driving, they may likely be refering to this administrative penalty.  While its not a criminal conviction, there is a penalty of $198 for the first offence.  Yeah, first offence, as it just goes down hill from there.  A second suspension within 5 years of the first, will result in a seven (7) day suspension of your license, a mandatory re-education program and another $198 fine.  Three suspensions or more within the same 5 years of the first, will result in a full 30 day suspension of your license, re-education, six month ignition interlock and $198 fine each time.

Just to note, an ignition interlock is a special breathalyzer for an individual’s vehicle.  It requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece on the device before being able to start the vehicle.

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