Province gets tougher on drivers who insist on using their cell phones - fine could reach $1000.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 4, 2015


Yacking away on your cell phone while driving could cost you a fine of $1,000 and the loss of three demerit points – and probably a boost in your insurance premium.

Cell phone while driving

This kind of behaviour will cost three demerit points and a possible $1000 fine. Let’s hope judges decide not to be timid when handing out the fines

An amendment to the Highway Traffic Act — one of several new road safety measures — is to become law this fall. The legislation to make this happen received unanimous support.

Before the police begin their crack down the transportation ministry will be launching an education campaign to make sure motorists get the message that distracted driving is eclipsing drunk driving for causing fatalities.

“People have to be constantly reminded that it is crucial to keep their eyes on the road,” said the Minister of Transportation, adding that what is really needed is “cultural transformation” that drives homes to motorists that driving requires 100 per cent of their attention.

Police and officials with safety organizations have been urging government for years now to toughen up the penalties for distracted driving, which currently only carries a fine.

Police have “seen a disturbing trend with needless deaths on the rise. They are totally preventable. Since distracted driving laws were introduced in 2009, 505 lives have been lost in OPP-investigated collisions in which driver distraction was a causal factor.”
Brian Patterson, president and CEO at Ontario Safety League, said distracted driving “is not just a bad habit, it’s a deadly habit,” adding there are many patients at Toronto’s Sunnybrook hospital who bear witness to that.

“As people get the message the roads will become safer,” said Patterson, adding that sometimes it also takes a ticket to get a driver’s attention.

Cycling driver dooring a cyclist

Fines for drivers that “door” cyclists to be increased + increase in demerit points.

The Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act will:

Increase fines for distracted driving from the current range of $60 to $500 to a range of $300 to $1,000, assign three demerit points upon conviction, and escalate sanctions for novice drivers who are convicted.

Apply current alcohol-impaired sanctions to drivers who are drug-impaired.

Require drivers to let pedestrians completely cross the road before proceeding at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers.

Increase fines and demerit points for drivers who “door” cyclists, and require all drivers to maintain a minimum distance of one metre when passing cyclists where possible, as well as allow cyclists to use the paved shoulders on unrestricted provincial highways.

Help municipalities collect unpaid fines by expanding licence plate denial for drivers who do not pay certain Provincial Offences Act fines.

Allow more qualified medical professionals to identify and report medically unfit drivers and, clarify the types of medical conditions to be reported.

The new fines and measures will come into force over the coming months, the transportation ministry says.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.