Effective January 1, 2016, drivers and cyclists are now prohibited from proceeding into pedestrian crossovers until all pedestrians have completely cleared the roadway. A driver or cyclist found breaking this new law may be subject to a minimum fine of $150, and up to a maximum fine of $500.
This new law only applies to crossovers, not crosswalks. As many are currently wondering, what’s the difference? A pedestrian crossover is a crossing specifically indicated by signs, pavement markings, pedestrian push buttons, and illuminated overhead lights. A pedestrian crosswalk is typically part of a roadway at an intersection, indicated with traffic signals, pedestrian signals, or stop signs. This means that drivers at regular crosswalks, like those found at intersections, are still able to proceed through the crosswalk after pedestrians have safely cleared their vehicle.
Unfortunately, injuries to pedestrians are often severe, and children are particularly vulnerable to such pedestrian injuries. Child pedestrian injuries are a “leading cause of injury-related death for Canadian children aged 14 years or younger.” “On average, 30 child pedestrians younger than 14 years are killed and 2, 412 are injured every year.” In an effort to keep children safe, this new law also prohibits drivers and cyclists from proceeding through a school crossing until all pedestrians, including the school crossing guard, have completely cleared the roadway.
As always, teaching pedestrian safety, particularly to children, is the best safeguard in preventing pedestrian injuries. Now that kids are back at school, it is important for drivers to be vigilant of children in and around the roadways and it is important for parents to reiterate road safety rules to their children: “look, listen, and be aware.”
 Safe Kids Canada, “Child Pedestrian Injuries Report” (2007-2008) Parachute Canada (6 January 2016), online: Parachute Canada <http://www.parachutecanada.org/downloads/injurytopics/ChildPed_Report_07 :08.pdf>.
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