The government of Ontario is set to reintroduce a bill which aims to increase distracted driving penalties to $1,000, plus three demerit points. Current laws only have fines that range from $60 to $500, with the new law to increase those amounts to $300 to $1000.
Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said at a news conference yesterday he plans to bring back the distracted driving bill, which was eliminated due to the recent June 12 election:
“I think this is really important for our government to draw a line in the sand, so to speak, and make sure people understand that we can’t let it spiral out of control, that we do need to get a handle on it very clearly,”
The bill would also impose three demerit points in addition, and will be reintroduced once the legislature resumes in October. Del Duca expects the legislation to pass, as the Liberals won a majority in the recent provincial election. Ontario has banned the use of handheld devices for uses other than calling 911 since 2009.
Back in March, the Ontario Provincial Police revealed distracted driving was now the number one killer on the roads. A recent survey by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) noted close to 50% of Ontario teens in Grade 12 admitted to texting while driving.
What do you think about these harsher penalties? They will definitely make people think twice about using their device while driving as it’s pretty damn dangerous.