With the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) set to conduct its Distracted Driving Campaign during March Break, drivers caught using their cell phones may also get caught off guard by the tougher penalties that took effect on January 1, 2019.
The new penalties include a fine increase up to $1,000, three demerit points and a three-day licence suspension. The penalties increase with subsequent offences. For novice drivers in the graduated licencing system, there is no fine or additional demerit points but longer licence suspensions now apply.
The deaths of 55 people and more than 9,115 collisions were linked to an inattentive driver on OPP patrolled roads in 2018. The OPP laid 13,529 Distracted Driving charges last year against drivers whochose to make roads unsafe by dividing their attention between driving and using a hand-held electronic device.
For more information on distracted driving, including statistics, fines and penalties, visit the Province’s website.