MPP Harris takes next step in enhancing roundabout safety – Safe Roundabouts Act passes second reading debateMarch 5, 2015
Queens Park – Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris says enhanced roundabout safety for Waterloo Region, and across the province, may be just around the corner following the passage of his private members bill, Bill 65, the Safe Roundabouts Act, through second reading debate.
“It was great to see much of this Legislature take a stand for the enhanced road safety that will result from passage of my Safe Roundabouts Act,” Harris said. “With more than 40 roundabouts in Waterloo Region alone – and more being constructed across the province – I’m hopeful my legislation will provide enhanced road safety through ensuring roundabout rules are written into the Highway Traffic Act.”
Specifically, the Safe Roundabouts Act would update the Highway Traffic Act to include a definition of a roundabout, and would require the Minister to consult with the public about the safe use of roundabouts, table a progress report every year until regulation is made, and ultimately make regulations establishing rules of the road that apply to roundabouts.
Harris noted that while he was pleased to see the bill move forward by a vote of 38-4, he was disappointed to see Cabinet Ministers Tracey MacCharles, and former Transportation Minister Glen Murray, as well as MPP’s Wong and Delaney vote against the obvious safety enhancements contained in the bill.
“I appreciated the support of my riding neighbour Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife and look forward to the next steps to see this bill through committee and final reading to provide the consistency that will allow people to know what to expect when they approach a roundabout, just as they do when they approach a traditional intersection,” Harris concluded.
Harris thanked all those who helped support the initiative, including the CAA, the Ontario Safety League, the Ontario Motor Coach Association, and Waterloo Region Council.
He added that he was grateful for the backing of Waterloo Regional Police Service Chief Bryan Larkin who recently noted, “The sheer fact that the definition of a roundabout is not embedded in the Highway Traffic Act, for us, it creates some confusion as we move through the judicial process. There’s no hard and fast rules of the road there, but I think it (the Safe Roundabouts Act) will bring some clarity to the rules. I think long term it will provide for a safer road network.”