September 1 brought forth new changes to make roads a little safer in Ontario. Drivers are now faced with a new set of traffic laws thanks to Ontario Bill 31, the "Making Ontario Roads Safer Act," passed just three months ago in June.
The new rules of the road come with serious penalties for drivers who don’t obey. Penalties can mean immediate suspensions for distracted drivers (G1 or G2 license), and multiple demerit points plus significant fines for fully licensed drivers who don’t comply. If you ignore these changes, it'll cost you more than just your hard-earned money.
Here are the five new traffic laws that now affect every-day driving in Ontario:
Distracted driving: Think you’re being sneaky checking your device while no one is watching? If you’re caught looking at or talking on your phone or texting while driving, you will face much bigger fines and more demerit points than the previous fine of $200. Upon conviction, those found guilty of distracted driving will face an increased set fine of $490 and three demerit points. Drivers with G1 or G2 licenses could have their permits suspended on the spot. It pays to have a hands-free in your car now.
Pedestrian crossovers: Taking effect in January 2016, drivers will have to fully stop until pedestrians have completely crossed the road at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings before they continue on their way. About half of all fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians occur at intersections, the Ministry of Transportation said. The new law focusing on making roads safer for
Passing cyclists: Cyclists are now to be given at least one metre of room by drivers wherever possible. No fine has currently been set for breaking this rule, but will be announced shortly. Motorists who open their vehicle door into the path of a cyclist without checking will face a set fine of $365 and three demerit points.
The “move over” law: All drivers must now slow down and move over to the next lane when they see a stopped emergency vehicle with its red and blue flashing lights or a stopped tow truck that has flashing amber lights. The fine for breaking these rules is three points and a $490 fine.
Alcohol and drugs: Anyone caught driving with drugs in their system will now face the same penalties as drunk drivers, the Ministry said. These include a one-week vehicle impoundment and 90-day license suspension. More than 45% of drivers killed in Ontario were found to have alcohol or drugs in their system. Here are five reasons why you don’t want a DUI in Ontario.
If you have any questions about the new traffic laws that are now in effect in Ontario, visit the MTO’s official website.
Mike Jennings at 3:12 PM
New Hand Signals Raise International Construction Understanding & Safety
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Hand gestures are a universal idiosyncrasy etched in cultures all over the world, but their meanings? Not so much. For example, the beloved “thumbs up” is a sign that everything is alright in most North American and European countries, but in Asian and Islamic cultures this simple hand gesture is offensive. In Australia, a thumbs up means OK, but if you move your hand up and down, it is highly insulting.
The same idea applies to construction sites where hand gestures are frequently used as a form of communication between workers. While the meanings of these signals are often consistently understood within ones company or region, the globalization of the construction industry has created a need for universal sign language.
The International Organization for Standardization (IOS) has established a new standard under ISO 6715, which requires a set of hand signals be used for any construction site with a lift operator. The goal is not to take away from the unique sign language used by various cultures, but to help improve safety and efficiency in job sites whose workers come from different countries or cultural backgrounds.
ISO 16715 was developed by a subcommittee made up of 31 national members including countries like China, Brazil, India, Korea, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Russia, Europe, Canada and the USA.
Implementing these new standardized hand signals will better construction site safety and lower the risk of workplace accidents, while ensuring foreign workers and/or partners feel more comfortable on the job.
Seeing road maintenance and infrastructure throughout the community is very positive. Construction means investment, innovation and development which catapults economic ad-vancement. This blog outlines ways that project managers can ensure a safe environment for both employees and passersby. Construction sites can be very hazardous, following these safety tips will ensure your project runs smoothly, with no delays, injuries or lawsuits.
Given the nature of construction sites, it is no wonder why fires can easily occur. Working with lots of machinery, tools and temporary heating appliances, it is essential to have fire preventative measurements at every turn. This includes having extinguishers and fire blankets readily available, proper ventilation and employee training.
Cleanup the Clutter
Make sure all dust and debris is properly cleaned, tools are in an orderly fashion and hazard-ous materials are stored away correctly. Having a lot of clutter in your work site can create fire, electrical or tripping hazards. Giving the area a quick sweep and keeping equipment in order will help the workers be more efficient throughout the entire project.
Living in Canada exposes us to changing and sometimes harsh weather conditions. Monitoring the weather forecast can help prevent a construction disaster, allowing you to adequately prepare your site for what storm might be rolling in. Harsh winds, rain or snow can cause scaffolding to collapse, roofs to cave in, or possibly stop production all together. Have adequate insurance, make sure your scaffolding is stable, and keep one eye on the weather!
Having proper signage can help keep the workers and general public safe. To avoid injury or liability claims, make sure there are plenty of signs providing direction. This includes required personal protective equipment, exit signs and designated areas that can be extra hazardous. Also include signs that clearly show where the main office is to avoid visitors wandering around.
Preparing a safety plan is beneficial for a number of reasons. It will help the job run smoothly, prevent accidents and often, they are transferrable from job to job. Outlined in the safety plan should be security, cleaning, fire prevention, weather events and a routine safety check. Not only will this provide you with peace of mind and efficiency, it gives your insurance company confidence that you’re operating a safe site.
Think about ways to improve your current safety plan, and if you don’t have one, make one! Let us know what other important safety tips you practice by commenting below! Safety is a priority, not an option.
Visit our website to view our product catalogue of signage that will make your construction site safer! Proper direction is helpful to everyone.