Distracted driving is a very common occurrence in today’s day and age, but technology is not the only culprit that causes distracted driving. In the last few years, Ontario has implemented and enforced distracted driving laws in attempt to reduce the number of accidents on the road. Distracted driving causes about 26% of the accidents on the road in Canada. These laws were made to help protect yourself and others while on the road.
Distracted driving is the use of any handheld device while behind the wheel. Driving while using a handheld at anytime is a chargeable offence, including when at stopped at a traffic light. If you do need to use your phone or adjust your GPS while driving, it is highly recommended you pull off the road where you will not impede any traffic. As of August 2019, eating, drinking, smoking and grooming are now included on the list for distracted driving, and have a hefty fine included.
Distracted driving affects everybody on the road, not just you. One second on your cellphone could mean that one extra second you needed to brake for a red light. It puts you and others on the road. It is also not fair to any passengers in your car, as they are having their lives risked by your choices. It is important to keep your passengers in mind while driving, as they might be too uncomfortable to speak up if they are bothered by your distracted driving.
Fines for distracted driving can be up to $1000, with a 3 day license suspension and 3 demerit points. On a second offence, the fine can go up to $2000, with a 7 day license suspension and 6 demerit points. On a third offence, the fines can go as high as $3000, with a 30 day license suspension.
So before picking up the cellphone behind the wheel, remember that the message you just got can wait. You can help protect yourself, and others on the road while avoiding putting a large dent in your wallet.