The Penalties For Distracted Driving In Ontario
When you are driving, distractions are everywhere; your phone could ping when you receive a text message, you could be tempted to eat a snack or drink some coffee, and you may be tempted to check your GPS to see where you are going. While you may not think it’s a big deal to take your eyes off the road for a second to check your phone or change the radio station, this is considered distracted driving and could leave you with a heavy fine, or worse, in an accident.
Driving while distracted can be as dangerous as driving under the influence, and both will land you heavy penalties when you get pulled over.
What is Defined as Distracted Driving?
In simple terms, distracted driving is whenever you take your eyes off the road. This could be turning your head to talk to a passenger, looking out the driver window to see if you missed a turn, or if you interact with your phone, GPS or digging through a take-out bag for food. No matter what you are doing, if it takes your attention away from driving, it is considered as distracted driving.
The easiest way to avoid becoming distracted is to simply keep your eyes on the road. Even if you think you are safe to look at a text for a second, you may not see traffic stopping or another car trying to merge into your lane. If you have to, keep your phone out of reach so you aren’t tempted to look at it at all.
What are the Penalties for Distracted Driving in Ontario?
If you are pulled over for distracted driving in Ontario, you could face a fine of up to $6,000 and receive up to six demerit points, depending on the severity of the act.
Here is the breakdown of fines that you may receive if you get one or more distracted driving tickets:
- First offense: $615 fine and if you try to fight it in court, the fine could increase to $1,000 if you lose.
- Second offense: $615 fine with a 7-day driver’s license suspension and six demerit points. If you fight the fine in court and lose, the fine could go up to $2,000.
- Third offense: $615 ticket with a 30-day driver’s license suspension and six demerit points. If you fight the fine in court and lose, the fine could go up to $3,000.
If you do not have a full G or M license and get pulled over for distracted driving, the fines and suspension penalties can be harsher.
If you get into an accident because you were distracted, you could be charged with dangerous or careless driving, which has its own set of penalties that are usually harsher than the distracted driving penalties. You could also be liable for any damages or medical expenses for yourself and the other parties involved.
Contact isure insurance for More Information
If you have any questions about distracted driving and how it can affect your insurance rates, call us at isure insurance today. Our professional and unbiased brokers can walk you through anything related to auto insurance in Ontario including in Ottawa, Mississauga, and Toronto; we are always here to help!
Tags: Auto Insurance • New Distracted Driving Laws