It's time for Vulnerable Road User Laws in Ontario


  • September 2015: Groups demand Vulnerable Road User Law in Ontario (follow the story in The Toronto Star and Global News coverage) 
  • July 2015: Toronto City Council issues request to Queen's Park to develop Vulnerable Road User laws. Read more here.  

When reviewing cyclist deaths across Ontario between 2006 and 2011, the Provincial Coroner of Ontario found something troubling: while 62% of all deaths were found to be at least partly the fault of the driver (and the Coroner said it was likely higher, but that in many cases the only other witness was the cyclist who perished), only 27% of drivers involved were ever charged.

We reached out to Patrick Brown, a critical-injury lawyer with McLeish-Orlando, to help with this problem. We believe it is far past time that the Province of Ontario create strong Vulnerable Road User laws. Vulnerable Road Users such as pedestrians and cyclists tend to bear the greatest burden of injury. Vulnerable Road User laws help address this issue within the legal system by imposing greater penalties on drivers when Vulnerable Road Users are struck. These penalties could include suspended drivers licenses, monetary penalites, incarceration and further education. This would require that the general driving public take greater care when operating a motor vehicle.

How can you help?

We believe Vulnerable Road User laws should be studied and implemented by the Province. Given the recent rash of cycling deaths and non-fatal collisions with cars, we need to get the provincial government to bring in a Vulnerable Road User Law (VRU). Sign the petition to Introduce Vulnerable Road User Legislation!

Read more comments by Patrick Brown

McLeish-Orlando is a Platinum Business Member and long time supporter of Cycle Toronto’s advocacy work.