Getting Tougher on Distracted Drivers - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Getting Tougher on Distracted Drivers

When operating a moving vehicle: making or taking calls, texting, or interacting with a cell phone (or any other electronic device) is risky and could lead to an accident. In response to this, Ontario issued rules prohibiting cellphone use while driving on October 26, 2009. The current law carries a maximum $280 fine for distracted driving.

However, some argue that the current law does not go far enough and vow to get tougher with distracted drivers. Cambridge and North Dumfries Liberal MPP Kathryn McGarry, parliamentary assistant to Ontario’s transportation minister Steven Del Duca is one of them, “We are getting tougher with drivers who ignore the law and continue to drive impaired or while talking or texting on hand-held mobile phones.”

The proposed changes would have a direct impact on those who are caught using their phones while driving. The fine would increase, ranging from $300 to $1,000, and three demerit points would be added upon a distracted driving conviction. The new legislation would also have a great impact on novice drivers in the graduated licensing system.

According to the Cambridge Times, there are other aspects of the legislation that go further to make our streets safer:

  • Increase fines and demerit points for those who strike passing cyclists.
  • Drivers would be required to keep a minimum distance of 1 metre from cyclists when passing.
  • Drivers caught driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs would undergo intensive alcohol and treatment monitoring programs.
  • Stricter punishment for drivers who disobey rules around school and pedestrian crosswalks.
  • Drivers would be required to yield the entire roadway to pedestrians at school crossing and pedestrian crossovers.

“The number of pedestrians killed has declined significantly over the last 25 years,” said Del Duca, “but pedestrians still represent one-in-five of all motor vehicle related fatalities in Ontario.” In addition, nearly half of all fatalities occurred at intersections.

This legislation is a significant and necessary step in keeping our streets safer. Even a brief distraction, such as answering a phone call, could change your life dramatically.

A New Jersey law was recently enacted that will punish those who text drivers if they know their conversational partner is behind the wheel. Global explored this case and the issues surrounding it and asked Isaac Zisckind for his thoughts on this controversial subject of holding people accountable for others’ actions:

If you’re operating a vehicle, it’s important to always be aware (distraction-free), confident and safe. If you find yourself in an accident, Diamond and Diamond Personal Injury Lawyers have the experience in helping accident victims and will get you the compensation that you deserve. If you’ve been injured, call us on our free injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT (4878) or contact us here.  

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