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Ontario Distracted Law Update June 2015 – Heftier Fines for Texting While Driving

Ontario’s current distracted driving law is one step closer to being changed. Since 2009, Ontario law has banned drivers from using handheld devices to text, email or talk while driving, except for 911 calls. Though it was banned, many Ontario drivers continued to do so.

In an effort to crack down on distracted driving, the Ontario government raised the fines for drivers who are caught using handheld devices while driving in March of 2014. The fines were increased from $155 to $280, but no demerit points were added.

Despite the increase, again, many drivers continued to text or talk on cell phones while driving. Many drivers believe that they can multi-task and text while driving without causing auto or pedestrian accidents. Sadly, drivers often do not come find out that they cannot multi-task while driving until it’s too late.

In October of 2014, just 7 months after the fines were increased, the Transportation Minister, Steven Del Duca, announced that a new law will again increase fines for drivers who use handheld devices while driving, i.e., texting, talking, or emailing. Drivers could face a fine up to $1,000. In addition, the new law proposes 3 demerit points if drivers are caught texting while driving.

On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, the new legislation unanimously passed the third reading and will soon be signed into law.

When the legislation is signed into law, it will be one of the toughest distracted driving laws in Canada. Currently, the province with the highest fine for texting while driving is Northwest Territories at $322 and 3 demerit points. Source: News in Review – October 2014 – Teacher Resource Guide – Distracted Drivers: License to Kill

According to the Ontario Provincial Police, distracted driving is becoming the number one killer on our roads. It caused more deaths in fatal auto crashes than impaired driving or speed-related accidents in 2014.

The new law also addresses other dangerous driving behaviours, such as drug impaired driving. The law also provides stricter rules for drivers when it comes to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Deadly Consequences of Texting While Driving in Ontario

Texting and driving can lead to fatal crashes. Injured victims have legal rights to financially recover for their injuries and damages. To talk to someone about your car accident in Kingston or Ottawa, call the personal injury lawyers at Bergeron Clifford for a FREE consultation. 1-866-384-5886

*Source: www.cbc.ca (Distracted driving penalties increase under new Ontario law)

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