MPP Fife pushes for legislation to save lives on the road
QUEEN’S PARK- Kitchener-Waterloo NDP MPP Catherine Fife announced Tuesday that she is re-tabling legislation aimed at improving road safety for Ontario's most vulnerable road users.
Vulnerable Road Users Legislation is designed to prevent injuries and deaths among people who use roads and who are vulnerable, including cyclists, pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, emergency responders on the road, and road construction workers.
“Kathleen Wynne put politics ahead of the people of this province when she prorogued the legislature and effectively blocked this bill,” Fife said. “This bill is designed to save lives. It’s shameful how the Liberals casually cast aside the progress that families and advocates have made to improve the safety for our most vulnerable road users."
Patrick Brown, a safety advocate on behalf of the Coalition for Vulnerable Road User Laws, said that it is time to fix a system that is failing to protect vulnerable people on our roads.
“This law will provide important legal protection to vulnerable road users who are not protected by two tons of steel and airbags," said Brown. “We need strong penalties to curb road violence. While drivers’ injuries are going down, vulnerable road users are being injured and killed at record levels. A fine for killing or maiming a human being should not be equivalent to the cost of a repairing a dent in your car. Our present system is broken. Enough is enough.”
Heather Caron, a Kitchener-based lawyer whose husband was hit and killed by a driver while cycling, shared her thoughts. “We need to make drivers mindful when behind the wheel, and responsible for the consequences of their actions and inactions. A vehicle is a weapon to vulnerable road users,” she said.
The bill is supported by Cycle Toronto, Bikelaw Canada, Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists, Bells on Bloor, Hoof & Cycle, Toronto Bicycling Network, Walk Toronto, Kids at Play, Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, Citizens for Safe Cycling, Citizens Environment Alliance, United Senior Citizens of Ontario Inc., Ontario Brain Injury Association, Brain Injury Society of Toronto, Velo Canada Bikes, Brampton Cycling Club, and the Newmarket Cycling Club.
“This bill is designed to save lives. In a province where thousands of vulnerable road users are injured or killed each year, this bill is necessary and long overdue,” said Fife. “If this government is serious about protecting the safety of people who use our roads, they will make this bill law before the election.”
Media Contact: Emily Trudeau, 416-325-6913