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Ontario’s New Distracted Driving Laws are Now in Effect

Ontario’s New Distracted Driving Laws are Now in Effect

By:

Mann Lawyers

Posted January 2, 2019

As of January 1, 2019 distracted driving is no longer just limited to the use of electronics while driving.

According to the current law, anything that causes a driver to be less focused on the road constitutes distracted driving.

You will be guilty of distracted driving if you do the following behind the wheel:

  • Simply holding an electronic device in your hands
  • Using a cellular phone to talk, text, check maps or switch playlists
  • Eating (the amount of demerit points may vary depending on what you are eating)
  • Reading books or documents
  • Typing a destination into the GPS
  • Wearing earphones while driving

The penalties apply equally whether you are driving on a highway or are stopped at a red light.

There is a good reason for the increase in penalties for distracted driving. According to provincial road statistics, deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled since 2000 in Ontario.

Data on collisions from 2013 show:

  • one person is injured in a distracted-driving collision every half hour
  • a driver using a phone is four times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road

Drivers convicted of distracted driving under the new laws will be punished with a licence suspension, a hefty fine (which is more than double the previous fine), and demerit points. The severity of the punishment increases with the number of subsequent offences committed. Drivers with A-G licenses convicted of distracted driving can expect the following:

First offence: 3 days suspension, 3 demerit points, and up to $1,000 fine

Second offence: 7 days suspension, 6 demerit points, and up to $2,000 fine

Three or more offences: 30 days suspension, 6 demerit points, and up to $3,000 fine

On top of these penalties, convicted drivers can expect their insurance premiums to increase.

For more information on distracted driving laws, visit Ministry of Transportation.

This blog post was written by Ines Jelic, a member of our Personal Injury team.  She can be contacted at 613-566-2055, or by email at ines.jelic@mannlawyers.com.

 

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Ines Jelic

Ines Jelic

I practice exclusively in the areas of estate litigation and wills and estates law. My compassionate, yet competitive, spirit fuels my desire to be a strong advocate for my clients. Legal issues in estate litigation can be very complex and intertwined. I enjoy empowering my clients with knowledge and take the time to explain the process, with an ability to deal with sensitive and difficult client situations in a professional and gracious manner. My goal is to provide exceptional client service while obtaining the best, most cost and time-efficient resolution possible – whether that means negotiating a settlement or going to court. Being able to help clients plan for the inevitable is an honour and a privilege I value greatly. Every estate plan is unique to each client and I take the time to understand my clients’ goals and needs in order to ensure their wishes can be carried out... Read More

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