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.