Toronto deputy mayor asks Ontario to increase fines for drivers blocking intersections

Toronto’s deputy mayor is calling on the province to increase fines for drivers caught entering intersections late and blocking them. She says it could improve congestion.

Last week, Jennifer McKelvie introduced a motion to combat so-called “blocking the box,” which is when a driver makes an improper stop in an intersection — a congestion problem that should face stiffer penalties. She called for the fine to be raised from $85 to $450 across the city, and up to $500 in community safety zones.

“I believe increasing fines for blocking the box will help slam the brakes on this bad behaviour,” said McKelvie.

“Tying up oncoming traffic is one of the most inconsiderate things you can do. Depending on the intersection, you can end up blocking other drivers trying to proceed legally, riders on transit vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.”

Read more: Toronto city council moves to double the number of speed cameras

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In a statement, the deputy mayor argued that when a vehicle enters the intersection but can’t make it all the way through, it results in a “domino effect” that stops cross-traffic movement.

A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Transport said that the city had not made any “formal” approach or request for legislative changes.

“Should this be received, we will work with the City to review at that time,” the spokesperson told Global News.

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