Higher fines mean tough road ahead for distracted drivers in Ontario - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Higher fines mean tough road ahead for distracted drivers in Ontario

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 80% of collisions and 65% of near crashes have some form of driver inattention as contributing factors. According to Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, “If current trends continue, fatalities from distracted driving may exceed those from drinking and driving.” It should come as no surprise that the province has been getting tougher on distracted driving.

The Toronto Star recently published a piece on higher fines for distracted drivers in Ontario.  According to the report, the province of Ontario is getting ready to toughen up on distracted driving and enforce stiff fines of up to $1,000 for distracted driving. The changes could come as soon as September 1st.

On Monday, Del Duca said that “Motorists need to keep their heads up and not succumb to distractions as the province gets ready to enforce stiff fines of up to $1,000 this fall.”

Here is a list of some of the most important changes that you should know before using the roads:

  • Fines will increase significantly for distracted driving to between $300 – $1,000 along with 3 demerit points (vs. $60 – $500 and no demerit points, currently).
  • Drug-impaired drivers will face the same penalties as drunk drivers. According to the ministry of transportation, over 45 percent of drivers killed in Ontario were found to have drugs and/or alcohol.
  • We have covered pedestrian incidents in Ontario frequently, and it’s great to see further safety measures. Drivers must wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the road before proceeding at school crossings and pedestrian crosswalks. For every five car accidents and fatalities, one involves a pedestrian.
  • Councilors have been pushing for stiffer penalties for hitting, injuring cyclists in Toronto. The new law includes fines between $300 to $1,000 and up to three demerit points for motorists who “door” cyclists. Car drivers passing cyclists also face fines if they do not keep at least one metre away, where possible.

Sandra Zisckind, lawyer at Diamond & Diamond Personal Injury Lawyers, provides tips to avoid distracted driving

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