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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:
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 :
- Second conviction:
-Third and any further conviction(s)
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:
Tips to avoid distracted driving:
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.
March 13, 2012
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:
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