The Ontario government is actively trying to reduce the number of people driving while distracted. The hope is that with strong laws that have significant penalties, drivers will be less likely to do something behind the wheel that will make them distracted.
While there are different types of distracted driving, Ontario’s new laws are meant to discourage distracted driving caused by cell and mobile use behind the wheel. Right now there is a financial penalty for using your cell phone behind the wheel. New laws mean that if you pick of your phone when you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, you could pay a higher fine. This fine would be charged regardless of if you’re actually moving or stopped at a red light.
Ontario Transportation Ministry will introduce legislation to increase the fines that distracted drivers currently pay. The increase in fines went effective from September2017. Individuals fined with distracted driving will now pay a maximum of $2,000 on second conviction, which is twice the maximum amount before the new legislation. Multiple offenses will also receive demerit points on their driving licenses, which will impact the cost of their license renewals as well as the cost of their vehicle insurance.
Why Target Distracted Drivers?
The reason why the government in Ontario is providing harsher penalties for distracted driving is because of the significant dangers distracted driving imposes and the common misuse of cell phones behind the wheel.
Here are some sobering facts.
• One if five drivers confess to Internet surfing while they’re driving
• Texting and driving makes an accident 23 times more likely to happen than other types of distracted driving.
• Smartphones, as opposed to basic cell phones, are the most common form of distraction for drivers. There are other forms of distractions, including those not involving a cell phone; however, statistics show that it’s the smartphone that causes most of the distractions.
• Dialing your phone, even using auto dial saved numbers, increases your chances of an accident significantly.
• When completing a basic text while behind the wheel, which takes a minimum of five seconds, is equal to traveling the distance of a football field without looking at the road. Many things can happen within that distance.
Right now, despite numerous advertising campaigns, it’s still socially acceptable to text and drive. The goal with increased legislation is to change this and make texting and driving something that’s no longer considered okay, just like driving while drunk is never okay.
The stronger laws have a zero tolerance. This means there is no excuse to have a cell phone in your hand, even if you have stopped at a red light, crossing intersection of stop sign. In a 2013 court decision, the driver appealing the charge did not get relieved of her conviction despite being stopped at a red light and spending only five seconds picking up her phone off the floor of her vehicle. That is how tough the laws are going to be. It is best to have an Injury Lawyer in Mississauga in your corner if you are in such a situation anytime.