Tougher laws on the horizon for Ontario distracted drivers

Soon drivers will have to be even more mindful of what they do behind the wheel of a vehicle. Distracted drivers in Ontario will have to curtail their bad habits behind the wheel if they don't want to be saddled with a maximum fine of up to $2,000 -- up from $1,000 for a first conviction. So, texting and driving will hopefully be even less attractive to many drivers who still make a habit of it.

Not only will drivers likely receive steep fines for distracted driving infractions, but they will also automatically lose their licences if they're convicted of the offense. Second convictions will see maximum fines of $2,000, while three or more convictions could cost drivers up to $3,000. The law will soon receive Royal Assent in Ontario's parliament.

On a first offence, drivers will lose their licences for three days. That increases to seven days for two convictions and for three or more convictions, it's 30 days. The licence suspensions would only come into effect after a judge has convicted an alleged offender. Police won't be given that roadside authority.

Looking at statistics from 2016, more than 7,400 crashes in the Toronto area were caused by distracted driving. Eight of those crashes involved fatalities, more than 2,600 caused injury while more than 4, 700 did damage to property. Drivers will also face losing six points off their licences for multiple convictions. 

Distracted driving has continued to be problematic in Ontario for some time. When people are injured due to distracted drivers, getting legal counsel would be a prudent step on the road to pursuing financial compensation for those injuries. A lawyer could offer the proper legal guidance to his or her injured clients.

 

Source: citynews.ca, "Ontario's tough distracted driving laws one step closer to taking effect", Jan. 15, 2018

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