Ontario drivers were greeted to the new year with stiffer penalties for distracted driving. As of Jan. 1, 2019 fines, demerit points and license suspensions for the offense soared to new highs.
Here’s what you need to know about Ontario’s new distracted driving laws:
- Distracted driving is defined by the province as “using your phone to talk, text, check maps or choose a playlist” while driving. Other activities like eating, reading or using a navigation system are also considered “dangerous” when on the road.
- It can now land you with a fine up to $1,000, three demerit points and a three-day license suspension for the first offence.
- For the second offence, you can see a fine up to $2,000, six demerit points and a seven-day license suspension.
- Three or more offences will get you a fine up to $3,000, six demerit points and a 30 day license suspension.
- G1, G2, M1 and M2 drivers face longer license suspensions for distracted driving violations: 30-days for the first offence, 90-days for the second and a full license cancellation for three or more convictions.
- If your license get cancelled, you must redo the full Graduated Licensing System.
- The only exception to the distracted driving laws is if you’re making a 911 call in an emergency situation.
What do you think of the new distracted driving penalties? Vote in the polls above and share your thoughts in the comments below.