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Saturday, May 15, 2021

January brings changes in some rules of the road

January always is a time when changes are made. People usually make “resolutions” to improve themselves, Governments on the other hand change rules and regulations in order to make things better but often it doesn’t work quite as well as planned.

Ontario has made some interesting changes that are meaningful and potentially expensive to those who fail to either know about the changes or who ignore those changes. Either way, this particular change is critical for all to know and understand.

Here it is: When there is a pedestrian in a crosswalk, especially those at intersections controlled by traffic lights, a vehicle must wait until the crosswalk is completely clear of pedestrian traffic. If you’re turning left, be careful of pedestrian traffic that could impede your progress and make you block other traffic. If you’re turning right, make sure that all pedestrians are clear of the crosswalk the entire width of the road. If you’re travelling straight through, wait before the crosswalk until the pedestrian has crossed the road completely, not just to the island in the middle of the road. AND, if you’re turning from King Edward Avenue onto Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa, make sure that pedestrians are stationary on the side walk.

There will be some issues with this new rule. Pedestrians may not be charged for crossing while it is not their turn to cross, but you will be charged with impeding their progress. This is another rule that has been changed not to increase safety. The reports of pedestrian/vehicle collisions are so minimal the percentage isn’t even a register. It’s been a change in the rules because it will cause greater chance of grid lock. But the government has used the safety flag again inappropriately.