Updated distracted driving laws in effect
Published Jan. 15, 2019
As of Jan. 1, penalties for driving with a handheld wireless communication device, such as a cellphone, have increased for drivers in Ontario.
The new penalty: fines up to $1,000; three demerit points for first offence; three-day licence suspension; penalties rise for subsequent convictions.
Novice drivers will receive the same fines, but will receive longer suspensions rather than demerit points. Details can be found at ontario.ca/distracted-driving.
Distracted driving doesn’t just involve a phone. It includes anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the vehicle including taking your eyes off the road, taking your hands off the wheel, and taking your mind off what you’re doing.
You could be charged with careless driving if you cause a collision or exhibit very poor driving directly related to being inattentive, for example, eating while driving, reading a map while driving, etc.
The fines and demerit points for careless driving are unchanged.