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Drivers facing new rules for pedestrian crossovers

Last Updated Jan 4, 2016 at 7:05 pm EDT

It’s the first day back to work and school for many after the holidays, and new rules are in effect aimed at keeping pedestrians safe.

Under the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, drivers will be required to remain stopped at pedestrian crossovers with overhead lights or at school crossings with guards – displaying school crossing stop signs – until everyone is off the roadway.

Also, pedestrians will be prohibited from entering a crossover if the vehicle is so close that the driver cannot stop.

The new rules, which went into effect on Jan. 1, applies to pedestrian crossovers and not at crosswalks, unless a school crossing guard is present.

According to the Ministry of of Transportation, “pedestrians crossovers are identified by specific signs, pavement markings and lights.” Such crossovers have overhead lights and push buttons for pedestrians.

A crosswalk is located at intersections with traffic signals, pedestrian signals or stop signs.

A crossover. MTO
A crosswalk. MTO.

Drivers who break the new crossover law will be fined $150 to $500 and face three demerit points. Fines will be doubled in community safety zones.

According to police, 38 pedestrians have been killed on city streets in 2015, including a 63-year-old man killed in a hit-and-run on the Danforth just before midnight on Dec. 30.

And 2016 is not off to a great start. A man died after being struck by a vehicle in Scarborough on Sunday evening.