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Canadian Federal Transport Minister Asks for Stiffer Distracted Driving Penalties

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According to a new report from the National Post, Canada’s Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau asked some provinces to introduce stiffer penalties for distracted drivers.

Even though distracted driving is very dangerous, Garneau is not yet willing to criminalize those texting or talking on their phones while driving. Garneau is looking for nationally consistent penalties for all drivers who were using their mobile device at the time of an accident.

In a letter to his provincial and territorial counterparts, Garneau said:

“I would like to encourage, and facilitate as required, all jurisdictions to consider adopting measures which are both stricter in terms of their impact but also uniform across the country. Having robust and nationally consistent enforcement measures and penalties will help mitigate the negative impact of this increasingly pervasive problem on Canada’s roads.”

The chart below shows the fine and demerit point penalty for each province.

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  • Asmodath

    Anyone who thinks that reading or answering a text or using their phone for whatever reason, is more important then other people’s safety shouldn’t drive. 2 year license suspension and permanent vehicle seizure and auction should be the first offense penalty. So how many people risk doing it then.

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  • Bill___A

    Although I agree that there should be uniformity in distracted driving laws, speeding, and smoking regulations across the country, I think these things could be dealt with by better enforcement. Although speeding is sometimes quite well enforced, the other two are not, in my opinion, very well enforced at all. Interesting that BC has the highest fines. I remember one time driving on highway 1 into the Fraser Valley. There was a vehicle which was driving a bit erratically. Upon further examination, afforded by a traffic jam, I was able to determine two things – that the driver was texting, and that it was a Worksafe BC vehicle. Anyways, I now have a dash cam…lets see better enforcement of these laws. The deterrent is more effective if there is a good possibility of the driver getting hit with it. No need i don’t think of increasing them. Some people need to learn a lesson by actually paying fines, not hearing that they would be higher.

  • fatiredflyer

    Seize the device.

  • Nemesis

    Pathetic fines and demerit points aren’t going to get it done. Its a safety issue that crosses all borders and should be dealt with on a criminal level not as a highway safety infraction. Asmodath’s post content below is the right direction. Second offence jail time.

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