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  • Statement to the Ontario Legislature (November 2, 2005)
    protect young G2 drivers Bill 73 restricts the number of teenaged passengers they can carry between midnight and five a m Our research shows that new teenage drivers are almost three times more likely to be involved in a fatal or serious collision when they are carrying teenage passengers In fact research shows the more teenage passengers the higher the risk Our government also launched the iDRIVE campaign last year It includes a video by and for young people to raise awareness about dangerous driving including impaired driving So far 1 800 copies have been distributed to schools community groups public health offices and police Mr Speaker when it comes to drunk driving our government is looking at measures to discourage first time offenders from becoming repeat offenders We also want to target repeat and serious offenders In short our government is doing everything we can to keep drunk drivers off Ontario roads Mr Speaker we re joined today by Amy Swinson former president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Mary Sultan the president of the Toronto Chapter of MADD Canada I d like to acknowledge the great work MADD does to educate people and prevent impaired driving Yesterday I was pleased to help MADD Canada launch its annual Project Red Ribbon along with my colleagues Ministers Kwinter and Bryant MADD Canada is distributing four million of these red ribbons across the country this holiday season The red ribbon is a sign of respect for the thousands of people who have lost their lives or who have been injured as a result of impaired driving By tying it on your vehicle it serves as a commitment not to drink and drive and as a reminder to others Or a red ribbon on your car key chain is also a good

    Original URL path: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/news/statements/stat051102.shtml (2014-08-11)
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  • Statement to the Ontario Legislature (October 20, 2005)
    for their efforts Mr Speaker I m proud to report school buses in Ontario are safer than ever before Our government is doing everything we can to stop drivers from putting children s lives in danger by illegally passing stopped school buses If a school bus is stopped and the red lights are flashing drivers must stop It s the law 800 000 children in Ontario ride a bus to and from school every day About 17 000 school buses are registered in the province Drivers across Ontario need to know they are putting children s lives at risk if they illegally pass a school bus and they will not get away with it Mr Speaker as of September first owners of vehicles that illegally pass a stopped school bus can be charged no matter who is behind the wheel at the time One of my first acts as Transportation Minister was to introduce Bill 73 making owners liable when their vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus It was passed by the legislature last year The provisions in this bill will go a long way to promote the safety of our children Signs are required on the back of every bus in Ontario warning drivers of the maximum 2 000 fine for illegally passing a stopped school bus Safety features are required on new buses including A safety arm to keep kids from walking in front of the bus where the driver can t see them More emergency exit windows and Better mirrors to improve the driver s line of sight All of these new features have been added to all buses manufactured since January first of this year Mr Speaker I m also pleased to report that we re distributing a new reporting form for school bus drivers

    Original URL path: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/news/statements/stat051020.shtml (2014-08-11)
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  • Statement to the Ontario Legislature (May 5, 2005)
    died in drunk driving collisions More than 500 others were seriously hurt In nine out of 10 drinking and driving deaths the drinking driver was a man Most impaired drivers involved in collisions are between 19 and 24 years old And summertime is the deadliest for drinking and driving collisions Nearly twice as many people are killed in the summer months as in the winter We need to get the message out now Earlier today I helped officially launch the Arrive Alive DRIVE SOBER campaign It is held each year by one of our biggest safety partners on this issue the Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving or OCCID Our government is also working with police and a number of other road safety groups like MADD and Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving I have been working hard along with our safety partners to raise public awareness on this issue I strongly support and take part in the Holiday RIDE program MADD s Red Ribbon campaign conferences on impaired driving and the Arrive Alive DRIVE SOBER campaign Our government also launched the iDRIVE campaign last year It includes a video by and for young people to raise awareness about dangerous driving including impaired driving 2 200 copies have been distributed to schools community groups public health offices and police I m pleased to report another 2 200 copies have been ordered this year Mr Speaker Ontario has the safest roads in North America But road safety doesn t just happen It takes an ongoing commitment year after year The theme of this year s OCCID campaign is Choose Your Ride We want to convince people to make responsible choices this summer When you choose your ride do you want to end up in the back of a police cruiser An ambulance

    Original URL path: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/news/statements/stat050505.shtml (2014-08-11)
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  • Statement to the Ontario Legislature (April 25, 2005)
    drive thirty kilometres over the limit And to allow the courts to impose licence suspensions up to one year for those who are convicted of repeatedly driving fifty kilometres over the posted limit If this legislation passes it would be an offence to ignore the STOP or SLOW signs in road work zones That s important because over five years there have been more than 11 thousand collisions in highway work zones 50 people have died That Mr Speaker is why we re getting tougher with speeders We want fines doubled for speeding in highway construction zones and doubled for those drivers who ignore the rules at school and pedestrian crossings We re doing what we can to improve safety Right now 45 percent of the pedestrians killed are struck at marked crossings We would also improve truck safety with more rigorous daily inspections There would be tough new rules targeting those who operate illegal taxis limousines and passenger vans And there would be tougher standards for driving schools offering Ministry approved courses The police would be able to clear highway collisions more quickly That would ease driver frustration and help the economy A major crash on the 401 can not only tie up traffic but lead to all sorts of secondary collisions And to save lives the bill proposes to allow a new generation of studded tires to be used in icy winter conditions of northern Ontario Mr Speaker when I introduced this legislation the opposition parties knew that it was the right thing to do But they chose to say this legislation won t work But road construction workers support it And the truckers are keen to do their part Municipalities are pleased we are adding provincial rules to crack down on speeders on local roads And police

    Original URL path: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/news/statements/stat250405.shtml (2014-08-11)
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  • Statement to the Ontario Legislature (February 21, 2005)
    have real meaning for everyone in Ontario First and foremost safety Over the past five years more than 15 000 pedestrians in Ontario have been hurt or killed crossing the street Many of these tragedies happened at intersections with traffic lights at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings In Toronto for example 42 of the 74 road related deaths in 2003 involved pedestrians Over five years there were nearly 12 000 collisions in highway work areas Fifty people died in those tragedies The heartbreaking truth is that children are nearly five times more likely to be killed walking or running out onto a street than adults And the simple fact is that drivers who go 30 km over the posted limit on city streets are almost six times more likely to kill or seriously injure someone And the very few drivers who go 50 km an hour over the posted limit on our highways are nearly ten times more likely to kill or seriously hurt someone This Bill proposes obvious solutions Higher fines and demerit points for driver offences at school crossings Higher fines and demerit points for motorists who don t yield for pedestrians at crosswalks and at traffic signals Doubling of fines for speeding in construction zones when workers are present Strong new penalties for disobeying the stop or slow sign held by a traffic control person in a work zone Tough rules for those who drive at excessive speeds with no serious regard for human life The reality is most collisions where someone gets hurt or killed happen on municipal roads And the reality is speed is a factor in almost half of all collisions This Bill would make our roads safer for drivers for pedestrians and for those who build and maintain our roads and highways The Bill includes other safety measures by improving daily truck inspections with a longer and more stringent check list This Bill would make flying debris from a car or truck an offence This would apply to all drivers not just commercial drivers A fender or grill that bounces onto a highway from a car can be just as dangerous as a flying truck wheel The bill would allow for variable speed limits on designated highways to manage traffic depending on weather or traffic conditions And Mr Speaker something my colleague the Minister of Northern Development and Mines has pushed for for ten years to improve winter safety by allowing the use of studded tires for drivers in the North This would give them more safety options to handle the icy conditions And something else Mr Speaker that the Premier promised a crackdown on illegal taxis We want to protect travellers from shady drivers who charge as much as 180 for a ride from Pearson International Airport to downtown Toronto The new legislation has measures to improve public transit and cut commuting times The Bill would allow us to designate and enforce HOV lanes for cars with two or more people This

    Original URL path: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/news/statements/stat210205.shtml (2014-08-11)
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  • Statement to the Ontario Legislature (February 16, 2005)
    by six million people By the end of 2007 we expect to see the kind of service improvements that attract as many as 33 million new transit riders Our government is investing more than 1 billion over the next five years in public transit across Ontario Seventy eight transit systems across 105 communities will benefit over the next three years I understand five more communities are interested in signing on Mr Speaker provincial gas tax funding gives municipalities stable long term funding Now they can better plan and improve their transit systems so that more people will choose transit We know one bus can take 50 cars off the road More people using transit means less congestion It means cleaner air for everyone We all benefit Here are some examples of what the gas tax is doing It s helping communities expand transit service In fact gas tax funding is helping transit systems across Ontario buy more buses It s helping them buy more than 1 800 new buses over the next three years In Sudbury gas tax has allowed the city to expand service for the disabled It will run not just on weekdays but right through weekends In communities around the province there are new buses on new routes for longer hours and that is all due to the gas tax Mr Speaker these are the kinds of transit improvements that really count for commuters But don t just take my word for it The mayor of London Mayor Anne Decicco says provincial gas tax funding is the kind of sustainable funding we ve been waiting for Now we can start planning for the future Ken Ogilvie the Executive Director of Pollution Probe said We have been waiting for political leadership on this issue and now we are

    Original URL path: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/news/statements/stat160205.shtml (2014-08-11)
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  • Statement to the Ontario Legislature (May 10, 2004)
    provincial and national economies Industries want a more effective transit system to support the efficient movement of people and goods The strategic investments that this government is making in transit will increase service increase access and ultimately make transit a more desirable alternative to the private car Our vision includes expanding existing transit lines and adding new ones adding more parking spaces at transit stations to get people onto the system as conveniently as possible seamless transportation so that GO Transit the TTC rapid transit and city buses all connect and the new integrated ticket will mean commuters will be able to travel across the GTA from one transit system to the next with one card Just last week the Honourable David Caplan joined me along with our federal colleagues and MPPs Bob Delaney and Tim Peterson in announcing one billion dollars in GO Transit improvements in the Greater Toronto Area These 12 projects will have the same impact as building a new Highway 401 through Toronto It is worth noting that over the next 30 years each person who takes GO instead of driving their car will save 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions yearly Last week Minister Caplan and I along with MPPs Tony Wong and Mario Racco announced funding for phase one of York Region s new rapid transit system We were joined there by the member from Oak Ridges Frank Klees And in March the province the City of Toronto and the federal government made history with a one billion dollar funding agreement to keep the TTC in a state of good repair This is possible thanks to a new spirit of cooperation between all levels of government For the first time in Ontario history governments are working together to improve public transit Mr Speaker these

    Original URL path: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/news/statements/stat100504.shtml (2014-08-11)
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  • Statement to the Ontario Legislature (May 4, 2004)
    each day We want to build on existing school bus safety by introducing legislation that would allow charges to be laid against the owner of a vehicle that is reported to have illegally passed a school bus In addition we would develop regulations to ensure that drivers are constantly reminded of the seriousness of the offence Our plan is to place warning signs on the back of every school bus in the province We are also proposing to adopt improved standards for new school buses In practice this would include Safety crossing arms to prevent children from walking into the bus driver s blind spot at the front of the bus More emergency exit windows on the larger buses and Improved mirrors to reduce the bus driver s blind spots Mr Speaker the second part of our proposal consists of measures to protect the youngest most vulnerable people in our society infants toddlers and primary grade children Let me outline the facts Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death and injury for children and youth An unrestrained child in a 50 km hr crash would suffer the same consequences as a child being dropped from a third storey window We can help prevent this A child car seat can reduce the likelihood of death or serious injury by as much as 75 per cent That is why I propose strengthening the authority in the Highway Traffic Act that governs the use of child car seats If this bill is passed we intend to put regulations in place to better protect children in motor vehicles This would include adding demerit points to the penalty facing drivers who fail to follow infant and toddler car seat requirements We would also if this bill passes extend the legal obligation for drivers to use forward facing child car seats for toddlers beyond parents and legal guardians We would extend this obligation to other caregivers as well It s a sad fact that children using seat belts instead of booster seats are three and a half times more likely to suffer significant injury and four times more likely to suffer head injury That s why we also intend to make booster seats mandatory Finally we plan to further protect our young teenage drivers with this proposed legislation Our Graduated Licensing System has been a resounding success in reducing death and injury among novice drivers But we can do more Ontario research shows that new teenage drivers are almost three times more likely to be involved in a fatal or serious collision when they are carrying teenage passengers In fact research shows the more teenage passengers the higher the risk Thirty one jurisdictions in Canada and the U S have some form of teenage passenger restrictions in effect Like these jurisdictions we want to protect our young drivers That s why we want to amend the Highway Traffic Act to improve the Graduated Licensing System If passed this measure would allow for regulations that

    Original URL path: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/news/statements/stat040504.shtml (2014-08-11)
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