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Distracted driving penalties increase under new Ontario law - January 2019

   Know what counts as distracted driving - and the penalties you could face for it -     before you  get  behind the wheel.


    What counts as distracted driving:

When you aren't focused on the road, things can happen fast.

Using your phone to talk, text, check maps or choose a playlist while you're behind the wheel all count as distracted driving - and they put you and others at risk.

Other activities like grooming, smoking, drinking, eating, reading or typing a destination into a GPS are not part of Ontario's distracted driving law. However, you can still be charged with careless driving or dangerous driving if you endanger other drivers as a result of these actions.

It doesn't matter if you're on a highway or stopped at a red light - distracted driving could cost you.


   Distracted driving statistics :

In Ontario, deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled since 2000.

Ontario data on collisions from 2013 show:

  •    one person is injured in a distracted-driving collision every half hour.
  •    a driver using a cell phone is a four times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road.


   Penalties for distracted driving:

The easiest way to avoid penalties for distracted driving is NOT to use a hand-held device when you 're behind the wheel.

It's against the law to use a hand-held communication (e.g. your phone) and electronic entertainment devices (e.g. DVD player) while driving.

In fact, simply holding a phone or other device while driving is against the law.

You can use :

- a hand-free device  (e.g. Bluetooth) but only to turn it on and off.

- a mounted device (e.g. phone , GPS) as long as it is secure - not moving around while driving.

If convicted, the penalty you face depends on what kind of licence you hold and how long you've been driving.


Drivers with A to G licences

If you have an A,B,C,D,E,F,G and /or M licence, you 'll face bigger penalties when convicted of distracted driving:

- First conviction :

  •   a fine of $615, if settled out of course (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee)
  •   a fine of up to $1,000 if a summons is received or if you fight ticket in court and lose
  •   three demerit points
  •   3-day suspension

- Second conviction:

  •    a fine of $615, if settled out of court (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee)
  •   a fine up to $2,000 if a summons is received or if you fight the ticket in court ans lose
  •   six demerit points
  •   7-day suspension

-Third and any further conviction(s)

  •   a fine of $615, if settled out of court (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee)
  •   a fine of up to $3,000 if a summons is received or if you fight the ticket in court and lose
  •   six demerit points
  •   30-day suspension


 Novice drivers

If you hold a G1, G2, M1 OR M2 licence, and you are convicted of distracted driving, you'll face the same fines as drivers with a A to G licences. But you won't receive any demerit points.

Instead of demerit points you'll face longer suspensions:

  •    a 30-day licence suspension for a first conviction
  •    a 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction
  •    cancellation of your licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System ( GLS ) for a third conviction
  •    to get your licence back you'll have to redo the  GLS program


Tips to avoid distracted driving:

  •    turn off your phone oe switch it to silent mode before you get in the car
  •    before you leave the house, record an outgoing message that tells callers you're driving and  you'll get back to them when you're off the road
  •    ask passenger to take your call or respond to a text for you
  •    silence notifications that tempt you to check your phone 

Calling 911

 In an emergency,  you can use your phone to call 911, but be sure to pull off the road to a safe area to make a call.






Ontario Increasing Driver And Vehicle Licence Fees To Maintain Roads And Bridges

March 13, 2012

McGuinty Government Committed To Eliminating The Deficit And Creating Jobs

For the first time in 15 years, Ontario is increasing driver and vehicle licence fees to ensure provincial roads and bridges remain safe and in good repair for future generations.

While costs of maintaining roads, bridges and highways have risen over time, fees have not, so in keeping with the recommendations of the Drummond Commission, the government is moving forward with modest and gradual increases to:

  • permit fees for truck and bus operators
  • permits for trailers and vehicles
  • new driver's licences and renewals
  • farm and off-road/snow vehicles.


The revenue generated from the fees will help support the maintenance of provincial roads, highways and bridges. Even with the increases, Ontario's passenger vehicle licence fees will remain lower than many other provinces in Canada.

The government will not be moving ahead with the recommendation to charge parking fees at GO Transit parking lots.

The McGuinty government is committed to eliminating the deficit and creating jobs, while strengthening Ontario's transportation infrastructure.


"Our government is making thoughtful choices to eliminate the deficit and keep Ontario's economy on track, while making sure our roads and bridges remain in good repair. By increasing some fees for the first time in almost 15 years, we are making the choice to keep Ontario's families safe when they are on the road."

 – Bob Chiarelli
Minister of Transportation, Minister of Infrastructure


  • There are about 11 million vehicles registered in Ontario.
  • Ontario has 16,500 kilometres of highway and 2,720 bridges.
  • The vehicle validation fee in Ontario was last increased in 1997.
  • Many of the fees are being increased for the first time in 15 years.
  • Since 2003, Ontario has committed more than $14 billion to ensure provincial roads, bridges and highways remain safe for families travelling them.



  • David Salter
    Minister’s Office
  • Bob Nichols
    Communications Branch


Ministry of Transportation