Now that we are almost halfway through 2023, it’s good to have a refresher on Ontario driving laws. This year, some new driving laws went into effect. These laws were approved as the “Making Ontario Roads Safer Act,” effective September 1st. From changes in fines to regulations, there is a lot that you should be up to date on. Knowing the new laws and how they affect you and your car insurance is essential. So, we thought it’d be wise to take a few minutes to re-familiarize yourself with the new changes to driving laws below.

Gas Tax extension

Let’s start with the somewhat silver lining. The gas tax, which reduces the gas price in Ontario by 5.7 cents per litre for drivers, has been extended until December 31st, 2023. That amount may not seem like much when looking at it. However, with the price of gas skyrocketing in the summer months, every cent taken off makes all the difference. However, the prices are warned to go as high as $2 per litre!

Street racing and stunt driving

Before the MOMS Act was enacted, the street racing and stunt driving penalty was a seven-day license suspension and vehicle impoundment. With the MOMS Act, these offences now result in a roadside 30-day licence suspension and no access to your vehicle for 14 days. There are also additional penalties if you are convicted of the charge. After one offence, your licence will be suspended for 1-3 years; a second offence will suspend your licence for 3-10 years. Three offences may result in a lifetime suspension, and four or more will permanently suspend your licence and face fines of anywhere between $2,000 to $10,000 and six-month incarceration.

Speed limits and Ontario driving laws

It was announced in mid-2022 that the official speed limit on provincial highways would be changed to 110km/h. This rule has taken effect in six sections of the highway thus far in Southern Ontario. As of April 2022, the speed limit will be raised permanently to 110 km/h on the following sections of provincial highways in southern Ontario:

  • Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) from Hamilton to St. Catharines (32 km)
  • Highway 417 from Ottawa to the Ontario/Quebec Border (102 km)
  • Highway 401 from Windsor to Tilbury (approximately 40 km)
  • Highway 404 from Newmarket to Woodbine (approximately 16 km)
  • Highway 417 from Kanata to Arnprior (approximately 37 km)
  • Highway 402 from London to Sarnia (90 km)

Driving under the influence

Drunk driving is predominantly referred to when thinking about driving under the influence. While driving under the influence of alcohol is more well-researched, that does not mean that driving under the influence of any drug should be forgotten. To help this, those caught driving while high will now face the same penalties as drunk drivers. This penalty includes a three or 90-day suspension of their licence and week-long vehicle impoundment.

“Move Over” Law

Emergency vehicles include police, fire, and ambulance, which will have blue and red flashing lights. Vehicles with amber lights are usually tow trucks. Drivers need to slow down and move into the next lane if they spot a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights. If you are found violating this law, you’ll be hit with a $490 fine and three demerit points.

Distracted driving and Ontario driving laws

One of the most common offences of drivers today is distracted driving. With this in mind, one of Ontario driving law changes is to help deter this in drivers. Those found guilty of distracted driving will face fines up to $1,000 and an increase in demerit points given to the driver. Also, drivers with only G1 or G2 licences can have their permits suspended or even stripped from them on spot. If you want to read more about how to prevent distracted driving in Ontario, click here.

No more extensions

As of early 2023, the government has decided to eliminate one of the few remnants of the pandemic regarding driving. The regulations have been amended that permit extensions to drivers’ licences, vehicle registration, permit renewals, accessibility parking, as well as any other vehicle products and fees.

Passing cyclists

Now that the weather is warming up, more people will use their bikes rather than their cars to travel. Therefore, you must be even more cautious about sharing the road with cyclists when driving. Now motorists must keep at least one metre, where possible, between themselves and the cyclist. While a fine has not been set just yet, remember that motorists who open the door of their vehicle into the path of a cyclist will face fines between $300 to $1,000.

Your car insurance and Ontario driving laws

These new laws, enacted by the province of Ontario, are designed to make the streets safer for all Ontario residents. These new laws are reasonable and should be easy for all drivers. Picking up demerit points is never a good idea, as it can lead to more expensive insurance. More tickets will have a significant impact on your car insurance premiums. The best advice is to understand driving laws and follow the rules of the road.

Understanding Ontario driving laws can help you avoid tickets and keep insurance premiums low. Speaking to an insurance broker can help you understand how a ticket can affect you. If you are currently paying high insurance rates, consider a quote with isure to see if we can save you more money! We compare the rates of dozens of Ontario insurers to get you the best price for even better coverage.

Related Articles