Ontario is Cracking Down With New Distracted Driving Laws
This September, the Ontario government announced new distracted driving laws with tougher penalties for anyone convicted of a distracted driving offence.
Distracted driving is a growing danger to other road users
In Toronto, pedestrians and cyclists are at risk from distracted drivers. Earlier this year, we reviewed distracted driving laws in Ontario, and the types of behaviour that can lead to a distracted driving charge.
Every half hour in Ontario, one person is injured in a collision that was caused by distracted driving, and the number of deaths from these accidents has doubled since 2000.
New laws will create new penalties and increase existing fines
The largest change being proposed would be the creation of a new offence for careless drivers that cause an accident resulting in bodily harm or death. Those convicted could face up to two years in jail, a fine of up to $50,000, and a five-year suspension of their license.
Distracted drivers that were previously fined after a distracted driving conviction will now face suspension of their license. These escalating penalties begin after their first offence, with fines of up to $1,000, a three day suspension, and three demerit points, increasing to a maximum of $3,000, a thirty day suspension, and six demerit points for a third offence. The fines have also been increased for novice drivers that carry a G1, G2, M1 or M2 class license.
Drivers will also be punished for failing to yield to pedestrians with fines up to $1,000.
In addition to these new laws, the Ministry of Transportation is also seeking amendments to increase fines for impaired driving, and expand the zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol to include new drivers, young drivers under the age of 21, and commercial drivers.
Personal injury advice for victims of distracted driving accidents
Distracted driving can result in serious personal injuries, and drivers that cause an accident because they are distracted or inattentive may be liable to compensate an injured victim. Even if they are not charged by the police, it is still negligent for someone to cause an accident if they are not paying proper attention to the road. If you are injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, our dedicated personal injury team can offer advice about a potential legal claim. We can also assist you with the process of claiming compensation through accident benefits.