Many members of OBIA are involved with us because of injuries sustained in a preventable crash caused by a reckless driver and have painful personal experience of the lack of deterrence in Ontario’s laws and the lack of justice for victims. We know how much value we would all find in the additional penalties added in Bill 54: license suspension upon conviction to get the dangerous driver off the roads, and no license reinstatement until the driver completes remedial driver training and community service and appears in traffic court to hear the victim impact statements of those they so grievously harmed.
We are excited to tell you about an opportunity to improve road safety in Ontario. Bill 54 is currently before the Ontario Legislature, which would deter the kind of reckless driving that results in so many senseless and preventable fatalities on Ontario’s streets. Bill 54 adds protection for Vulnerable Road Users under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). Currently, a shortcoming of the HTA is that it does not include penalties proportionate with the harm inflicted by reckless drivers.
The Vulnerable Law Coalition has launched a useful website to amplify our call to #PassBill54 for safe streets and better justice: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/0c901edae47442159efad194f4f59067.
In this website you will find more detailed information, and a tool you can use to quickly and easily contact your local MPP. The more MPPs hear from constituents who believe our streets should be safe for everyone, the higher the chance this bill will pass into law. Please share the link widely in your networks.
Most Ontarians, when they hear stories of people whose loved ones were killed by a driver or survivors struggling with life altering injuries, believe that the driver’s actions that caused so much harm would result in a stiff penalty, but the shocking fact is that a person can kill or severely injure someone with their car and likely only pay a small fine. This lack of justice is extraordinarily painful for victims and adds another layer of trauma for bereaved families and crash survivors.
The penalties added in Bill 54 have two purposes: to deter reckless driving, and to deliver more meaningful justice to victims. Under Bill 54, these reckless drivers would have their licenses suspended. The suspension would remain in place until the driver completes remedial driver training, completes community service related to road safety, and appears in traffic court to hear the victim impact statements prepared by grieving families or survivors.
What can you do to help:
- Email your MPP – this is the most important! We want our MPP’s to know how many Ontarians are in support of this legislation. Share this link to your networks and ask them to send our letter of support to their MPP.
- Public Support for Bill 54 Survey – Let’s show our support for Bill 54 on the map! Share this with your groups and once we have enough participation, this map will be shared so that our MPP’s can see their constituent’s support for Bill 54
- Justice for People on Ontario Roads – share the link to the VRU website so that your audience can learn more about the issues and the changes we are demanding.