Ontario’s new distracted driving laws and their penalties

Careless Driving Guelph

Canada is on a roar as far as new legislations are concerned. With every new legislation, its implication on the country’s driving rules is quite visible. Whether it is the stricter driving rules after the legalization of cannabis or something else, the drivers have to be on a constant lookout for the latest development in the driving laws if they want to steer clear of heavy penalties or legal actions.

One of the latest legalizations to join the list of laws is the Ontario cannabis legislation, which was passed in 2017. This legislation is expected to affect drivers in the province and throughout Canada from January 1st, 2019 onwards, says the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). The underlying bill 174 that regulates the sale of recreational marijuana was passed on December 12, 2017. For Canadian drivers, the implication is in the form of changes made in the distracted driving rules. As per an email by MTO, amendments made due to the new cannabis regulation will come into effect from January 2019 and will aim at strengthening the existing safety laws.

Another regulation pertaining to drivers found using their cell phone or any electronic device while driving, that includes talking using a handset, texting, calling or emailing which involves using one hand will be fined up to $1,000 with a three-day licence suspension and three demerit points. This means, if convicted, this traffic violation can result in severe implications, even on your insurance premium. This legislation has come into existence to severely curtail the occurrence of unsafe and distracted driving that poses serious threats to road safety. Repeat offenders under this legal violation are likely to be looking at a fine of up to $2,000, a seven-day licence suspension and six demerit points. For motorcyclists, the penalties are far more severe amounting to a fine of $3,000 and a license suspension of 30 days following a repeat distracted driving offence.

Although the roads in Ontario have ranked as one of the safest, it is imperative that special focus remains on strongly discouraging distracted driving, driving under the influence and promoting safe driving regulations by exercising severe penalties and legal implications. As this new legislation is enforced, the occurrence of collisions and accidents are likely to decrease considerably as motorists exercise added caution.

If you are a new driver, wish to know the exact nature of fines and penalties or need a legal recourse for a traffic penalty, speak to one of our lawyer panels today. Contact Bulwark Legal Services for an insightful and trustworthy legal aid for all kinds of legal advice and information.