Loading articles...

Province to crack down on distracted driving this fall

Ontario’s transportation minister says tougher texting and driving fines are on the way.

Transportation Minister Stephen Del Duca told the Toronto Star the new law will be introduced at the Ontario legislature after it resumes on Oct. 20.

As reported by 680News earlier this year, a driver caught using his or her phone while driving will face a fine of up to $1,000 and three demerit points.

The legislation will also crack down on drivers who “door” cyclists.

If passed, the law would be the toughest anti-distracted driving law in the country.

Under the current law, distracted driving carries a $280 fine.

Premier Wynne’s government plans to revive a bill introduced last March that failed to pass before the June 12 provincial election.

In 2013, distracted driving contributed to 78 deaths in Ontario compared to 57 for impaired driving.

Ontario provincial police laid 19,000 distracted driving charges last year.

Distracted driving convictions

Of 283,397 charges laid in Ontario under section 78.1 of the Highway Traffic Act between Feb. 1, 2010 and May 31, 2014, there were 238,097 convictions under section 78.1, another 2,218 convictions under other charges, 27,817 charges were withdrawn, stayed, dismissed or acquitted and another 15,265 charges were still before the courts.

Of 82,028 charges laid in Toronto in the same period, there were 63,833 convictions under section 78.1, 194 convictions under other charges, 14,386 charges were withdrawn, stayed, dismissed or acquitted and 3,615 charges were still before the courts.

Statistics courtesy of Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General

See below for a comparison of distracted driving legislation and fines by province and territories courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

Distracted Driving comparison chart