Heavy Penalties for Distracted Drivers

Distracted Drivers Facts

Drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a collision than drivers who focus on the road. When drivers take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds, their crash risk doubles (Ministry of Transportation)

Ontario Provincial Police are warning drivers that distracted driving is still the number one factor in fatal collisions on provincial highways. In 2015, there were 260 fatal motor vehicle collisions and 299 people killed in Ontario. Of those 260 collisions, 69 were caused by distracted drivers.

What is Distracted Driving:

Distracted driving is a form of impaired driving which carries a significant penalty in the province of Ontario. Under Ontario’s distracted driving law, drivers are prohibited to operate hand-held communication and electronic entertainment devises while driving. Such devises include cell phones, iPods/MP3 players, and DVD players.

As of September 1, 2015 the fines and penalties for distracted driving increased. If convicted of distracted driving, a fully licensed driver (holder of Class A, B, C, D, E, F, and G) will receive:

  • A fine of $400, plus a victim surcharge and court fee, for a total of $490.
  • A fine of up to $1,000 if you receive a summons or fight your ticket.
  • Three demerit points applied to your driver’s record.

To avoid distraction:

  • Plan your route ahead of time. Program your GPS, traffic app, climate control, and radio before you depart.
  • If you must make or receive phone calls while driving, do so using a cell phone with an earpiece, headset, or Bluetooth devise that uses voice-activated dialing.
  • When you are not connected with a hands-free devise, pull your vehicle over and stop to make or receive a call.
  • If it is not necessary to make a call, turn your phone off completely to avoid distraction.

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