Ontario’s Distracted Driving Fines Now Nearly $500 Starting Today

Today marks stiffer road fines for drivers in Ontario, part of the provincial government’s efforts to make roads safer.

For those convicted of distracted driving, they now face a minimum fine of $490 (an increase of $210 from the previous $280 fine) and three demerit points.

OPP Sgt. Dave Rektor told CBC News “Since 2009, more than 500 people have died in collisions in OPP-controlled roads, in which driver inattention was a causal factor,” adding “Statistically speaking, distracted driving has exceeded impaired driving as a causal factor in fatal collisions.”

Here are some other changes effective today:

  • Dooring cyclists or vehicles: drivers who open doors without looking causing bikes to crash into them face a new minimum fine of $365 and 3 demerit points
  • Passing cyclists: New $110 minimum fine and 2 demerits; drivers must pass with at least 1 metre; fine jumps to $180 in community safety zones
  • Bicycle lighting: Cyclists without proper bike lights and reflectors face a fine of $110 (up from $20)
  • Tow trucks: Drivers now need to slow down and make room for these vehicles, like they do emergency vehicles, or face a $490 fine.

What do you think of these new updated fines in Ontario?