Toronto, Ontario – Ontario has passed the Road Safety Act 2009, which will better protect young drivers, increase penalties for drinking and suspended drivers, and give police better enforcement tools.

The new rules include:

– A zero blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level for all drivers 21 years of age and younger

– Higher fines for serious Highway Traffic Act offences, including running a red light, failing to stop for an emergency vehicle, and failing to remain at the scene of a collision

– Immediate, seven-day impoundment of vehicles driven by drunk or suspended drivers; those who continue to drive without an ignition interlock when one is required would also be subject to an immediate seven-day vehicle impoundment

– A proposal to increase the length of time that new drivers spend in the graduated licensing system to get a driver’s license, up to 36 months

Since the time of the bill’s introduction, a proposed regulatory change to the graduated licensing system that would have placed tighter restrictions on the number of passengers that teenage drivers can carry has been removed. Many of the measures included in the new act will come into effect by the summer of 2010.

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