Change In Distracted Driving Law
A recent article had been released by City News, this past month; June 13th. It details the new laws for distracted driving that will be in place starting January 2019.
The changes that have been made to the current law are an increase in the fine. Before you would be fined a maximum of $1000 now it has increased to $2000 on a second conviction and up to $3000 on a third conviction! (Currently distracted driving fine is 490 fine and three (3) demerit points.)
Also added to the new law, those convicted with the distracted driving offence can see their license being suspended for three days (3) on a fist offence, seven (7) after a second conviction and 30 days for a third conviction.
( An office won’t seize a driver’s license at the roadside however a judge would have to order it suspended (offenders driver’s license) only after the driver is found guilty)
Distracted driving is the number one (1) cause of deaths in Ontario! In 20016 more fatal accidents were caused by distracted drivers than any other factor.
Barrie Today Article
Posted June 13th 2018
“That text or phone call while driving could soon result in suspension of your driver’s licence and a hefty fine.
As of January 1, 2019, the fines for distracted driving in Ontario will go from a maximum of $1,000 to a maximum of $2,000.
A conviction for a first offence will lead to a three-day suspension. For a second offence, you lose your licence for seven days and a third conviction could mean a 30-day suspension plus six demerit points.
Central Region Media Relations spokesperson, Sgt. Peter Leon says anything that makes the roads safer has the approval of the OPP.
Currently, a distracted driving fine is $490 and three demerit points.
As for what is included in distracted driving, Leon says it’s all-encompassing, from texting or using a hand-held device, but extends to eating, drinking a beverage, putting on makeup, dealing with disruptive children or pets, or fidgeting with the radio.
Leon says he’s seen a lot in over 30 years of policing.
“The oddest thing I saw years ago was a motorist eating a bowl of cereal while driving and he had the newspaper propped up on the steering wheel reading it.”
Officers do have discretion when it comes to what would warrant a ticket.
“We observe a lot of activity and have the discretion on how to respond. We have the option to offer a warning with some roadside education or write the ticket. It is really about going back to the basics of good driving skills. Use the mirrors and the signal indicators, and always be looking down the road to anticipate potential hazards. There are a lot more cars on the road now and so much happening around us. The best advice is if there is something you need to take care of in the vehicle, whether it be disruptive children in the backseat or an agitated pet or you need to make a call, pull off to the side and safely deal with it.”
There were 341 fatalities on OPP patrolled highways in 2017. Eighty-three were blamed on inattentive driving.
When the new law comes into effect next year, officers won’t be able to seize a driver’s licence at roadside. A judge would have to order it suspended only after the driver is found guilty.”
City News Video
What is Distracted Driving?
A reminder of what is considered distracted driving:
Using your phone to do the following:
- Check maps
- Choose a playlist
Other activities like
- Reading or
- Typing a destination into a GPS
It doesn’t matter if you’re on a highway or stopped at a red light.
The Traffic Lawyers
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