Ontario's Highway Traffic Act (HTA)

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The Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA) defines pedestrian crossovers as any area of the road particularly intended for pedestrians to cross, as well as any signs, lines, or other surface markings. (Ministry of Transportation, 2017). The majority of pedestrian crossings in Ontario are outfitted with overhead flashing yellow lights that are meant to signal drivers to halt and let walkers pass. The overhead yellow lights are made so that walkers can press a button to cause them to flash and alert drivers that they are crossing. (Leden, 2002; Koch & Howard, 2003). However, the Ontario’s HTA requires the pedestrians to make an indication to the motorists that they need to cross before they enter into the roadway (Traveller Information Services, 2017).

Pedestrian crossovers are important because they allow pedestrians to cross roads with convenience and safety. Pedestrian crossovers compel motorists to stop and wait for the pedestrians to cross and step completely off the road before they drive through the intersection. As a result, pedestrian crossovers enable pedestrians to cross the roads safely and with ease, as well as ensure that the drivers remain watchful when approaching them (Gutoskie, 2001).

Pedestrian crossovers are very effective in reducing pedestrian accidents. That is because they ensure that pedestrians only cross the roadways at designated points of the road. Besides, pedestrian crossovers ensure that all motorists yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and only permit drivers to proceed with caution once all the pedestrians have completely crossed the roadway (Koch & Howard, 2003). Additionally, according to the Ontario’s HTA, no motorist is allowed to overtake within 30 meters from a pedestrian crossover, a provision which contributes significantly to reducing pedestrian accidents.


Gutoskie, P. (2001). Road safety in Canada. IATSS Research, 25(1), 74-76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0386-1112(14)60008-x

Koch, W., & Howard, M. (2003). A comprehensive approach to increased pedestrian safety in pedestrian-to-car accidents. ATZ Worldwide, 105(1), 20-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf03224576

Leden, L. (2002). Pedestrian risk decrease with pedestrian flow. A case study based on data from signalized intersections in Hamilton, Ontario. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 34(4), 457-464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0001-4575(01)00043-4

Ministry of Transportation. (2017). Road safety: Pedestrians. Retrieved on July 19, 2017 from http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/pedestrian-safety.shtml

Traveller Information Services. (2017). Traffic management strategies. Retrieved on July 19, 2017 from http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/trip/compass-tms.shtml

July 15, 2023
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Traffic Canada Driving

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