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Ontario Texting While Driving Accidents – An Update on the Law

In an effort to decrease the number of drivers who text while driving in Ontario, the Ontario government has increased the fines for drivers who are caught texting while driving.

In March of this year, the fine was increased from $155 to $280 for drivers who are caught texting while driving in Ontario cities such as Kingston, Whitby and Ottawa.

Then, on October 22, 2014, the new transportation minister, Steven Del Duca, announced even more stiff penalties for drivers who text while driving. If caught, drivers could face a fine up to $1000. In addition, drivers would receive three demerit points.

In more serious cases, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) can also charge drivers with Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act, which carries stiff penalties such as six demerit points, up to $2,000 in fines and possible jail time. The OPP can also charge drivers with Dangerous Driving under the Criminal Code of Canada, and drivers could face jail time of up to five years.

According to the OPP, they have issued 11,500 distracted driving tickets just in the first seven months of 2014. In addition, distracted driving is one of the top causes of fatal motor vehicle accidents so far this year.

As of October 2014, there have been 168 deaths from motor vehicle accidents. The 4 most common causes were:

  • speed,
  • distracted driving,
  • unrestrained occupants, and
  • impaired driving.

The number one cause of fatal car crashes was speed. It caused 51 of the 168 deaths. The second cause was distracted driving, causing 45 of the 168 deaths. The third cause was lack of occupant restraints, causing 38 deaths. The fourth cause was impaired driving, causing 34 deaths. It is alarming that distracted driving accounts for more deaths than impaired driving accidents.*Source: www.ca.autoblog.com (OPP report reveals worst driving dangers in Ontario)

We can only hope that the heftier penalties will help Ontario drivers break the habit of texting or talking on hand-held devices while driving. There is no question that distracted driving is dangerous and results in serious injuries and fatalities. How many more innocent lives have to be lost before drivers stop texting or talking while driving?

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Bergeron Clifford LLP has proudly and successfully represented injured clients and their loved ones in legal proceedings, such as distracted driving motor vehicle accidents, across Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Perth, and Eastern Ontario. Their goal is to help you receive appropriate compensation in the shortest amount of time. 866-384-5886

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