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Texting and Driving Impacts and Fines

April 19th, 2012  |  Auto Insurance

Many of the collisions that occur on Ontario roadways are rooted in one issue; distracted driving. While there are many things that can distract drivers and cause them to lose focus on their driving, one of the major distractions is texting and driving.

As a result, texting and driving laws, known as Bill 118 came into effect in Ontario in 2009. Under the new law, drives are no longer allowed to operate their handheld devices to:

  • Text
  • Check email
  • Make phone calls
  • Handheld devices that are subject to a fine include:
  • Cell phones
  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • iPods
  • Portable video games

However, there are some acceptations to the law. Only in these instances can drivers use handheld devices:

  • While they are parked
  • To make an emergency call
  • The use of GPS
  • Commercial vehicles for logistics and directions
  • If you are operating an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance, fire truck or police car.\

The impact of texting while driving

  • Studies have shown that drivers that text while driving are much more likely to get into an accident than drivers who do not text while driving. This should be of no surprise to drivers as this is common sense.
  • There are a number of impacts that are associated with texting while driving. The most obvious is taking your focus and eyes off of the road. This can lead to a number of issues from running a stop sign, to getting into an accident, to seriously injuring someone else who is driving or a pedestrian that is walking across the street.

What happens if you are caught texting while driving?

  • If you are caught texting and driving, it is pretty safe to say that you are going to get a ticket. Tickets for texting while driving are currently $155 in Ontario. However, this fine will only increase for drivers who are repeat offenders. And, tickets for texting while driving can also impact your insurance rate.
  • Drivers do have the option to challenge their ticket in court if they disagree with the charge. However, based on the hearing, judges have the discretion to either lower your fine or increase it based on the evidence presented.  So, just avoid the temptation of using your phone while driving and you won’t have to worry about getting a ticket. 

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