Reminder: Ontario’s Distracted Driving Penalties Increase Starting January 1

Not like you need stricter penalties to stop you from driving distracted, but it’s worth mentioning again. Starting January 1, 2019, drivers in Ontario will be subject to increased fines and license suspension if caught distracted behind the wheel.

A little rewind to June:

Have you heard of the new Ontario distracted driving rules taking effect January 1 2019? If you are convicted of a…

Posted by Ottawa Police Service – Service de police d'Ottawa on Saturday, June 23, 2018

Harsher punishment for distracted drivers is part of Ontario’s Bill 174 cannabis legislation, which was passed in 2017.

Under the new laws, drivers who are caught using their phones or hand-held devices will be fined up to $1,000 with a three-day licence suspension and three demerit points.

Repeat offenders will face pretty much everything short of burning at the stake. Those with more than one distracted driving conviction will face a fine of up to $2,000, a seven-day licence suspension, and six demerit points. Drivers caught driving distracted more than two times will pay a fine of up to $3,000 and lose their license for 30 days. And if that’s not enough, please consider how figuratively costly your actions may be to yourself and others on the road.

According to the Ontario Provincial Police, distracted driving kills more drivers each year than drinking and driving, speeding and not using a seat belt. And since being distracted is more difficult to determine than, say, blood alcohol content, it’s very likely that the number of deaths caused by being inattentive on the road is even higher.

Stay safe and arrive alive.