Aug 26, 2014
By Jane Brown
Getting caught texting while driving will soon cost you more. Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca says tough new provincial legislation aimed at curbing distracted driving will be introduced after the legislature resumes October 20th. Under the new law, drivers who text behind the wheel would face fines up to $1000 and three demerit points.
Del Duca says “tremendous improvements have been seen over the years with impaired driving.” He says, “now awareness needs to be raised, particularly among younger drivers, with respect to texting and driving.”
OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes says distracted driving deaths have surpassed those caused by impaired driving. Last year in Ontario, distracted driving contributed to the deaths of 78 people compared with 57 for impaired driving and 44 for accidents related to speeding.
Del Duca’s bill would hike fines from the $60 to $500 range to between $300 and $1000 along with three demerit points. Currently, no points are accumulated for using a handheld smartphone or electronic device while driving.