The past two weeks there has been a dangerous trend happening on the roads near me. I have noticed a number of vehicles running red lights. Now this isn’t a matter of one car getting caught too close to the light to stop safely or being caught in the intersection when a yellow light inevitably turns red; I mean genuinely and intentionally blowing through a red light.
It used to be a bit of a problem where every so often a careless driver would not notice the light had changed and I would nearly run into them as I followed the signal’s indication that I should go. But we’ve reached a point where it seems necessary to point out how bad an idea running a red light actually is.
So with that in mind this blog is meant to remind us what is required at a red light and what the penalties are for ignoring that.
First up is the Highway Traffic Act and its statements about traffic control signals at an intersection.
“Where to stop – intersection
(5) A driver who is directed by a traffic control signal erected at an intersection to stop his or her vehicle shall stop,
(a) at the sign or roadway marking indicating where the stop is to be made;
(b) if there is no sign or marking, immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk; or
(c) if there is no sign, marking or crosswalk, immediately before entering the intersection. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 144 (5); 2006, c. 19, Sched. T, s. 6 (1).”
For a Traffic Act regulation that is actually pretty easy to understand. When the light turns red you stop at the locations listed above.
As for the penalties that can be expected for running a red light according to the Traffic Act Amendment you can expect the following;
“Penalty for certain offences
144.1 (1) Every person convicted of an offence under subsection 140 (1), 140 (3), 144 (7) or 176 (3) is liable,
(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $1,000; and
(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 20.
(2) An offence referred to in subsection (1) committed more than five years after a previous conviction for an offence referred to in that subsection is not a subsequent offence for the purposes of subsection (1). 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 20.”
But that seems to only be part of the penalties you can expect as other traffic related websites indicate it can also come with;
- Three (3) demerit points
- A conviction registered on your driving record for three years
- Possible insurance increases
- Determination of fault in accident cases
Which can be significant, especially if you accumulate a couple offences, or have a G1 or G2 driver’s license as 4 points is enough to get your license suspended.
Hopefully this reminder is enough to deter the recent trend of running red lights and if you happen to be in the car with someone who has that horrible habit you can use this information to persuade them that the extra 60 seconds really isn’t worth it.