Ontario to introduce new legislation fighting distracted driving

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Is this the view inside the Cape Town police HQ's lockup?
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As an interesting juxtaposition to Toronto city council’s newly announced war on loud pipes, the Ontario provincial government has announced their intention to fight distracted driving.

The Toronto Star says Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca plans to bring in new legislation that hinders distracted driving, including an demerit points for those caught using their phone while driving, and an increase in fines. The legislature should see the bill in October; similar legislation had been introduced earlier this year, but it died when the legislature broke up for the provincial election.

What sort of increase in fines are we talking about? According to the article, drivers caught texting or driving distracted in other ways could pay $300 to $1,000 under the proposed law, and will get three demerit points. Right now, they pay $60 to $500 and  don’t see any demerit points.

Last year, Ontario police told the Star, 78 people died because of distracted driving. To put that in perspective, impaired driving only resulted in 57 deaths, and only 44 people died because of speeding.

6 COMMENTS

  1. “Distracted drivers” are idiots and deserve to be treated as such … there are already lots of laws in place (careless driving, dangerous driving) to deal with it. More stupid overly-specific rules are just window dressing, something our stupid fcking twt two-moms premier is extremely adept at.

  2. I have been hit or cut off on 5 separate occasions, on 3 of these distracted drivers occasions; my motorcycle was a total write off. 1 occasion resulted in a torn Achilles Tendon.
    Insurance claims averaged over $3,000.00 per claim. Therefore, a fine of only $1,000; is a joke.
    A joke that most likely is the reason why motorcycle insurance is so costly and motorcycle drivers are expected to spend over 80% looking out for the actions of other drivers that don’t see motorcycles at the best of times.

  3. They are getting closer but the next step is a post accident check of cell phones especially in fatalities. I’m sure the true stats would go up and the consequences should be closer to that of killing someone with your car while impaired.

  4. it really doesn’t matter what the fine is if people think they’ll never get it, which they probably won’t. There are three traffic laws we enforce in Canada- DUI, speeding, and seat belts. One of those laws actually matters to road safety.

    • I did a little calculation, based on the number of cell phone users I see during my commute on a daily basis, and estimated that I see something more than half as many cell phone users in a year as the total number of infraction notices handed out by the OPP during the same period. That’s just me and, in 2010, there were more than 9 million registered drivers in this Province.

      It took decades to make it socially unacceptable for people to drink and operate a vehicle. This isn’t going to be beaten, overnight, by the knee jerk reactions of politicians.

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