Kingston Police make traffic safety a priority with proactive enforcement. Officers in our Traffic Unit and Patrol work every day to discourage and prevent speeding, aggressive driving, running stop signs, disobeying amber or red lights, texting and/or distracted driving and more.
Enforcement is only part of the answer, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians must also be aware of the rules of the road and learn to share the road to make it safe for everyone.
See the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website for more information on Sharing the Road https://www.ontario.ca/document/official-mto-drivers-handbook/sharing-road-other-road-users#section-1
Drivers must be sure to follow the rules of the road, drive defensively, share the roadway, and be extra vigilant to spot motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Driving Safety Tips:
- Obey the rules of the road including all traffic signs and signals;
- Signal all lane changes, turns, and stops;
- Avoid any handheld electronic devices while driving;
- Double check blind spots before changing lanes;
- Drive within the posted speed limits and adjust accordingly to the weather and traffic conditions;
- Use lights at all times;
- Apply extra care when entering and changing directions at an intersection;
- Pay extra attention to pedestrians;
- Seatbelts are required by all passengers;
- Keep your vehicle in good condition, with proper tires inflated at the correct pressure.
- Make sure your brakes are in good working order and ensure your windshield is always clear.
- Keep a minimum of 2 seconds following distance at City speed and 3 to 5 at Highway speed. If you are following to close and the driver ahead has to slam on his brakes you may not be able to react in time to avoid a collision.
- Look well ahead well driving, and be proactive rather than reactive to obstacles and hazards ahead
- Know what is behind and around you, remember to check your rearview mirror every few seconds
- When stopping in traffic be aware of vehicles coming up behind and slow gradually to control them
- When approaching a green traffic light remember to check the light frequently to avoid running an Amber or worse Red light.
- Avoid lingering in other drivers blind spots.
- Give cyclists a minimum distance of 1 meter when passing.
Winter Driving Safety Tips:
Make sure that your vehicle is prepared for winter driving.
- Winter tires are a good option, as they will provide greater traction under snowy or icy conditions.
- Keep a snow brush/scraper in your car, along with possible emergency items such as a lightweight shovel, battery jumper cables, and a flashlight.
- Make sure that mirrors, all windows, and the top of your vehicle, are free of snow or frost before getting onto the road.
- Drive smoothly and slowly
- Don’t make any abrupt turns or stops when driving. Doing so will often cause your vehicle to lose control and skid.
- Driving too quickly is the main cause of winter collisions. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully on snow and ice covered roads.
- Don’t tailgate.
- Tailgating becomes much worse in winter weather. Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement, so be sure to leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
- Brake before making turns.
- Brake slowly to reduce speed before entering turns. Once you have rounded the corner you can accelerate again.
- Learn how to control skids.
- When skidding, you actually need to go against your natural instincts and turn into the skid and accelerate. Doing so transfers your vehicle’s weight from the front to the rear and often helps vehicles to regain control.
- Lights On.
- Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
- No Cruise Control.
- Never use cruise control if conditions are snowy, icy, or wet, because if your car hydroplanes, your car will try to accelerate and you may lose control of your vehicle.
- Don’t “pump” the brakes.
- If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), do not “pump” the brakes. Apply constant pressure and let the system do its work.
- Pay attention.
- Maneuvers are more difficult to make in the snow. Be sure to anticipate what your next move is going to be to give yourself lots of room for turns and stopping.
- More winter driving tips http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/ontario-511/winter-driving.shtml
See the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website for more information on Driving Safety.
General Safety Tips for Drivers, Passengers, Riders
Before you Enter your Car:
Keep your vehicle in good repair, including plenty of gas and current road maps.
Check your vehicle's fluid levels and tire pressure regularly.
Obtain a "call police" sign and emergency kit in the event of a break down.
Carry an ice scraper and shovel in your car during the winter months.
Buy a cellular telephone and keep the batteries charged (at least every 30 days). Consider a cigarette lighter adapter to save batteries.
Have your keys in hand so you do not have to linger before entering your car.
View the interior of your vehicle before entering to assure no one is hiding inside, even if the doors were locked. Visually check the outside as well.
While you are in your Car:
Always lock your car after entering and when leaving it.
Keep the windows closed.
Know your route and stay on it.
Never pick up hitchhikers.
Park keeping in mind what the environment will be like when you return. Will it be dark? If so, park near lights.
If possible, reverse your vehicle in to the spot for a clearer view upon exiting.
Wearing Your Seat Belt:
The lap belt should be worn low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, to prevent abdominal injuries or spinal damage. The shoulder belt should be worn over the shoulder and across the chest.
Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under arm.
If you become Stranded:
Keep doors locked and windows rolled up. If you open your window, only open it to the point of breaking the seal, no further.
If a stranger offers to help, do not get out of your car. Ask the person to call for assistance or advise them the police are on the way.
Place a "call police" sign in the window.
Remember 9-1-1 on a cellular telephone does not give police your location. Know where you are so that emergency services can locate you. Consider using a GPS device to assist you.
Do not stop to offer help to a stranded motorist. Call for assistance for them.
Think you are being followed:
Do not drive home. You do not want this person to know where you live.
If you suspect that someone is following you, drive to the nearest police station, open service station or drive-in restaurant. Stay in your vehicle and use the horn to draw attention to yourself.
Try to obtain the licence plate number of the vehicle following you, as well as make, model, colour and a description of the driver. If you have a phone, call police right away.
What about Road Rage:
Pay attention to your driving. Do not drive while talking on your cell phone.
Keep to the right when driving at the speed limit.
Avoid tailgating, flashing headlights or cutting other people off.
Switch the radio station, if you're being aggravated by what you hear.
Use your signals and be courteous.
What Should you do if you are a Victim of Road Rage:
If someone is acting aggressively toward you, avoid eye contact while driving.
If someone approaches your vehicle acting aggressively, drive away if you can.
Do not leave the relative safety of your vehicle.
Do not issue or respond to verbal taunts.
Get a description of the vehicle and occupant(s) including licence plate and contact police.
Always make a mental note of where you've parked.
If you are in a parking structure know where the nearest exit is and where you intend to go before you exit your vehicle.
Try to walk to your vehicle with a friend.
Know the schedules and sit near the driver. During the evening hours ask the driver to let you off near your destination as part of their request stop program.
Use caution in conversations with strangers. Avoid giving your name, address or place of employment. Avoid clothing or items that identify you or your profession.
Have someone meet you at your stop.
Hiring a Driving-Service:
- When considering hiring a driving-service we recommend you take the time to do a little research. Visit the company website and learn what safety measures they have in place and how exactly their service operates.
- You should be provided with the drivers name, photo and license plate number at the minimum. This way you know who is picking you up ahead of time and should not have to approach unknown vehicles or persons to try and find your ride.
- Share your destination and ETA with family and/or friends so they know where and when to expect you. Follow your trip using your phone GPS so you know where you are.
Rules at Pedestrian Crossovers and School Crossings
Drivers - including cyclists - must stop and yield the whole roadway at school crossings and other locations where there is a crossing guard and at pedestrian crossovers. Pedestrian crossovers are identified by specific signs, pavement markings and lights; some have illuminated overhead lights/warning signs and pedestrian push buttons. See http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/pedestrian-safety.shtml#q9
These new rules do not apply to pedestrian crosswalks at intersections with stop signs or traffic signals, unless a school crossing guard is present.
Drivers will be fined $150 to $500 and 3 demerit points for offences at pedestrian crossings, school crossings and at crosswalks where there are traffic signals.