The Provincial Government is reminding the travelling public that amendments to the Highway Traffic Act, aimed at improving road safety in Newfoundland and Labrador, will come into force on June 7, 2018.
Amendments to the act were introduced in December 2017 to reduce excessive speeding, stunting and street racing by adding licence suspensions and vehicle impoundments as new penalties. Move over provisions were also enhanced by requiring drivers to reduce their speed by 30 kilometres per hour below the speed limit and move to an adjacent lane when approaching law enforcement or other emergency vehicles stopped at roadside.
A new offence for driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons causing bodily harm or death was also added to the Highway Traffic Act. The new penalties for this offence are: a minimum fine of $2,000 and a maximum fine of $20,000 or up to two years imprisonment, or both; licence suspension of not more than five years; and six demerit points. The amendments also increase the existing fines for driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons from $120-$480 today to $300-$1,000.
“Driving is a privilege, not a right. The amendments to the act strengthen driving laws by imposing tougher penalties on drivers. The improvements are designed to reduce distracted and careless driving such as driving without due care and attention, causing death or bodily harm, excessive speeding, racing and stunting, for example. These changes will make our roads, highways and communities safer and better prepare young people for the responsibility of becoming a driver.”
Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh
Minister of Service NL
“The new offence introduced to the Highway Traffic Act is a monumental and necessary change, crucial in today’s society, as we are driving with more technological distractions than ever. My husband, Shannon Pittman, lost his life due to a distracted driver. In this careless instant, my soulmate was killed, robbing us of the plans and hopes for our future, the suffering our family is left to endure for eternity. Hopefully, this new offence will benefit another innocent family, that Shannon’s untimely death will not be in vain, and his legacy will live on.”
Mrs. Sarah Pittman
“Randy was the most influential person in our lives. He was our world. We lost him tragically as a result of someone driving without due care and attention. We are pleased to see these new changes to the Highway Traffic Act. Accidents can be prevented and drivers must be more responsible in preventing serious injury or death. The life shattering loss of a family member is something we will endure the rest of our lives. With more awareness of distracted driving we hope other families will not have to go through the same.”
Mrs. Frankie Ralph
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