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Getting Caught Distracted Driving Is About To Cost You More in Ontario

February 27th, 2014  |  Insurance

Fines for drivers caught driving while distracted in Ontario are set to jump to $280 on March 18th
Considering the number accidents and issues on the roads that are a result of distracted driving, it is no 
surprise that a fine increase was announced. 
 
According to the Ontario Provincial Police
“Distracted driving is cited as a causal factor in 30 to 50 per cent of traffic collisions on Ontario, 
but is probably much higher due to under-reporting.” 
The current fine for distracted driving in Ontario is $155, meaning that the fine will increase to almost 
double its current rate in hope of deterring drivers from being distracted while behind the wheel. 
 
Did you know? 
 
  • Most drivers are aware of the fine they face if caught, but did you know there are additional fines and penalties that exist for distracted driving? 
  • According to the Highway Traffic Act, you could be fined $110 if you are caught watching an entertainment device while driving? 
  • Additionally, other more serious forms of distracted driving can lead to a careless driving charge. If you are convicted of careless driving you could face fines from $400 to $2,000 and a possible suspension of your driver’s license. 

 

What you need to know about the fine increase 
 
As outlined in the story released by CBC News, “A ticket for distracted driving in Ontario does not come 
with demerit points, although drivers could also face a dangerous driving charge, which includes six 
demerit points.” 
You also risk being fined if you are caught driving with the display screen of a phone, computer, MP3 
player or tablet computer visible to the driver. However, this does not apply to GPS screens. 
 
Why the increase? 
 
There is no denying that the $155 fine did not seem to be enough to detract drivers from engaging in 
distracted driving behaviours. Even with the current fine in place, people are still guilty of distracted 
driving all the time, especially when it comes to using their phone while driving. On an average day all 
you have to do is look at the car beside you and there is a good chance you will see someone checking 
their phone, especially if you are at a traffic light. 
For the safety of all drivers, hopefully the fine increase will make drivers think twice before they pick up 
their phone when behind the wheel.
 
What do you think? 
 
Do you think the fine increase is warranted? Do you think it will help reduce the number of drivers that 
engage in distracted driving in Ontario? 

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