PROTECTING VULNERABLE ROAD USERS BY PASSING BILL 40
Ontario has seen an alarming rise in road accidents involving drivers injuring or killing pedestrians, road workers and/or cyclists. The safety of vulnerable road users is an essential factor to preserve. This has prompted the call for more vital legislation to protect these individuals in recent years. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, MPP Joel Harden, alongside his fellow MPPs Jessica Bell, Doly Begum, and Bhutila Karpocha, are urging Ontario to pass Bill 40, The Moving Ontarians Safely Act, to address this critical issue.
THE ALARMING RISE IN ACCIDENTS
The numbers tell a stark story – the safety of vulnerable road users is under threat. Accidents involving drivers who injure or even fatally harm pedestrians, cyclists, and road workers have seen a distressing increase in Ontario. Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act does not adequately safeguard vulnerable road users. Drivers who seriously injure or, tragically, kill a vulnerable road user often face minimal consequences, such as meagre fines. This loophole in the law fails to deliver justice and undermines the essence of road safety and accountability.
BILL 40: THE MOVING ONTARIANS SAFELY ACT
In response, Bill 40, also known as The Moving Ontarians Safely Act, is becoming a beacon of hope for all cyclists. This legislation bill aims to achieve multiple objectives:
- Reducing Traffic Fatalities and Injuries: Bill 40 targets significantly decreasing fatalities and injuries involving vulnerable road users. It recognizes the urgency of addressing this problem and works toward creating safer roads for everyone.
- Accountability and Responsibility: One of the fundamental principles of Bill 40 is to instill a sense of responsibility and accountability among drivers who share the road with pedestrians, cyclists, road construction workers, emergency responders, and other vulnerable individuals. Meaningful consequences will serve as a deterrent and emphasize the importance of safe driving practices.
THE "SAFETY RIDE" INITIATIVE
MPP Harden is embarking on a journey to increase support and awareness for Bill 40. From September 21-24, the MPP will cycle from Ottawa to Toronto, promoting road safety and hosting community consultations in various cities.
The “Safety Ride” will stop in Kingston, Brighton, Oshawa, Scarborough, and finally, Toronto. During these stops, MPP Harden will actively engage with community members, listening to their concerns regarding safety, active transportation, and environmental change. This initiative, aptly named the “Safety Ride,” aims to gather input and educate and raise awareness about Bill 40: The Moving Ontarians Safely Act.
As part of the Safety Ride, community consultations will take place in various cities, starting with a kickoff ride in Ottawa on September 20th and continuing as follows:
- September 21st in Kingston
- September 22nd in Brighton
- September 23rd in Oshawa
- September 24th in Scarborough
- September 24th at Queen’s Park, Toronto
Please find the finalized timings and locations of the Safety Ride here. As the Safety Ride starts next week, we invite you to help us in our final push to spread the word, so that folks who would be impacted by Bill 40, including those who simply walk to work every day as well as those who are passionate about road safety, can attend our community consultations and have their concerns heard. Not to mention, our group bike ride in our last leg to Toronto would be a shame to miss for cyclists!
Ontario MPP Harden will listen to everybody who stops by at the Safety Ride events and those concerned about road safety, active transportation, and environmental change. See more info and RSVP to the meeting you want to attend one of the spots here.
In the meantime, Ontario Cycling and MPP Harden invite clubs, teams, cyclists and individuals to actively support the cause of safeguarding vulnerable road users by signing the petition for Bill 40. Your support is crucial to creating safer roads and ensuring that accountability and responsibility are upheld on our highways.
Sign the petition today and join the movement to make Ontario’s roads safer for everyone. Please use this document if you would like to share this petition amongst club members. Together, we can protect vulnerable road users and reduce the tragic toll of accidents on our streets.