Bill 31: Amendments to the Highway Traffic Act affecting cyclists and pedestrians

Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA) is one step closer to seeing some significant changes that will affect cyclists and pedestrians.

Last year, Bill 173 (Keeping Ontario’s Roads Safe) was tabled directly before the provincial election. TCAT expressed support for the bill although we did express concerns regarding the excessive increase in fines for lights on bikes. The Bill was also is a missed opportunity to provide better clarification within the HTA that “jaywalking” is legal.

After the election, Bill 173 was brought back to life under Bill 31 (The Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act). Last week, Ontario’s Standing Committee on General Government debated the bill. The third and final reading will take place after the Standing Committee reports the bill to the House with any amendments.

There are several very positive aspects to Bill 173 for cyclists and pedestrians, including:

While there’s always room for improvement, overall these are important improvements to the HTA for cyclists and pedestrians.

Thanks to Share the Road Cycling Coalition and everyone else who has worked hard on this issue for many years, dating back at least as far as the 1998 (!) cycling fatality report from the Regional Coroner of Toronto.

Posted On: March 19, 2015