QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jennifer French (Oshawa), Official Opposition Critic for Transportation, Highways, and Infrastructure, brought the Fairness for Road Users Act before committee for consideration today, taking it one step closer to ensuring more just and fair roads in Ontario.
“This bill is the result of decades of advocacy, and I am proud to see it being discussed today,” said French. “This is a non-partisan issue, and I’m glad all parties are finally ready to come to the table and hear testimony on a common-sense solution that will ensure families and individuals impacted by collisions have the chance to receive better access to justice.”
The Fairness for Road Users Act amends the Highway Traffic Act to strengthen the penalties for collisions that cause death or serious injury. The current maximum penalty is $500. French’s bill would allow courts to sentence the offender, if guilty, to a fine of up to $50,000, imprisonment for up to two years, or both. The court may also suspend the person’s driver’s licence or permit.
“Nothing can replace a loved one, or reverse a permanent injury,” said French. “But this bill can ensure that after a tragedy, survivors and loved ones left behind, don’t suffer an added insult to injury with an unfair slap on the wrist.”
The Fairness for Road Users Act passed second reading in November 2022. If passed through committee and the clause-by-clause process, it will have the chance to receive third reading when the Legislature resumes in Fall 2023.
“My Fairness for Road Users Act will provide judges with more tools at sentencing to ensure the families of victims get some semblance of closure, and a more just outcome,” said French. “I appreciated the opportunity to work with all Committee members to figure out a way to fix this issue and am committed to working together to achieve a solution for families and survivors.”