Moving Ontarians More Safely

Bill 238 – FUN Letter – What’s in the MOMS Act?

The Act gives Toronto permission to install safety cameras on streetcars to find and fine drivers who speed by a streetcar at a transit stop, putting riders at risk.  

The Act also includes Bill 148 The Doored But Not Ignored Bill to provide better protections for cyclists. Dooring is one of the most common causes of injury for cyclists, but it’s not considered a collision under the Highway Traffic Act. That means a cyclist can end up in an emergency room after being hit by a car door, but the police aren’t required to report the incident or charge the driver. If passed, this Act will mean that accidents involving a vehicle’s door coming into contact with a cyclist, bicycle or moving vehicle must be reported to the nearest police officer.  

The Act increases penalties for people who speed on highways and roads, including automatic suspension of a license if a driver races through a community zone.

Unfortunately, the four additional amendments requested by the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods and others (see letter below) were rejected by the government and the bill now goes back to the legislature as is for the third and final debate.

The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods submitted the following supporting letter.

May 13, 2021

Hon. Caroline Mulroney, MPP
Minister of Transportation

RE: Bill 282 The Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (MOMS Act)

Dear Minister Mulroney,

This is to express our strong support for the above noted legislation, and also to request your government’s agreement to incorporate certain amendments which are being widely supported by many individuals and groups concerned with road safety for ALL road users.  

The MOMS Act seeks to better regulate the tow truck industry, and e-bikes, as well as bring in tougher measures for drivers that engage in stunt driving. The bill also includes requiring “dooring” incidents, usually involving bicyclists, to be reported to the police; and permitting municipalities to install safety cameras on streetcars to find and fine drivers who drive by a streetcar as riders are exiting. 

While the MOMS Act is a step in the right direction, we feel that the government must do more to make our roads safe for all, especially vulnerable road users:  

  • Expand the definition of dooring to include collisions caused by dooring.  This would ensure the police also report on collisions involving people who swerve into traffic in order to avoid an open door.
  • Incorporate into Bill 282 the provisions of Bill 62, Protecting Vulnerable Road Users Act, 2018, so drivers who injure or kill a pedestrian, cyclist, or road worker while they are breaking the rules of the road face tougher penalties, including being required to listen to victim impact statements, license suspension, and taking a driver re-education course.
  • Incorporate into Bill 282 the provisions of Bill 122, Fairness for Road Users Act (Contraventions Causing Death or Serious Bodily Harm), 2019, which proposes tougher penalties, including fines of up to $50,000 for those who kill or cause serious bodily harm to another while they are breaking the rules of the road.
  • Include Bill 89, Teach the Reach Act, 2019 in official driver education manuals so young drivers learn that they should open the driver door with their right hand so they automatically look over their shoulder for oncoming traffic.

These amendments are badly needed to ensure safer streets and protections for vulnerable road users.

Respectfully submitted,

Geoff Kettel

cc: Hon Doug Ford, Premier
Members, Standing Committee on General Government Categories

Photo credit: Taxiarchos228, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons