We see it all the time – someone who keeps glancing downward while driving their car, likely checking emails or text messages instead of keeping their eyes on the road. Even though distracted driving is now causing more fatalities than drunk driving, the fines for distracted driving had not kept up with that sad reality. Thankfully our Ontario government addressed that situation last summer by significantly increasing the penalties for distracted driving.
Before the changes were made, the fines for distracted driving were fairly minor starting at $60 minimum and going as high as $500. Now since June 2015, a new bill was enacted (Bill 31) which raised the minimum fine to $300 and the maximum is $1,000 and you lose three demerit points.
It is still against the law to drive while holding a phone or other device, and your lack of attention to the road could cause additional charges such as careless driving and even worse, dangerous driving which falls under the Criminal Code. And if you think the new fines aren’t enough, a distracted driving conviction will also have a negative impact on their insurance rates, likely for a few years afterward.
You may think you’re doing the right thing by using a hands-free device or mounted phone to talk while driving but in fact, it is the conversation that is the real distraction so driving phone-free would be the safest option. If you have any, you would probably tell your kids ‘it can wait’, right? For the sake of everyone’s safety on the road, it is good advice for all of us. For more details about distracted driving and how to avoid it, visit the Ontario government’s site.
Keeping your safe driving record intact can qualify you for savings on your car insurance. Give the insurance experts at Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers a call at 1-800-731-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to answer your questions and provide no-obligation quotes for your consideration.
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