Government cracking down on distracted driving in Hamilton
Ontario is implementing a few tweaks to the distracted driving laws.
When you think of distracted driving, you probably think of someone texting while driving, or maybe eating food while driving.
However, the RCMP recently released a comprehensive list of things that can distract you while driving.
According to the RCMP's list, talking and using a mobile device including texting, reading such as books and maps, programming a GPS, watching videos, eating or drinking, smoking or vaping, grooming, adjusting the radio, listening to extremely loud music, and talking to passengers can all be considered distracted driving.
Part of the reason for this crackdown on distracted driving is due to the increase in collisions associated with it. According to the Ontario government, deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled since the year 2000. Additionally, drivers who use their phones while driving are four times more likely to crash than drivers focusing on the road.
According to the Ontario government, drivers with an A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and/or M licence who are caught driving while distracted for the first time will be fined $615 if settled out of court, and up to $1,000 if they fight the ticket and lose. Additionally, they'll receive three demerit points and their licence will be suspended for three days.
The second time a driver with any of the above licenses is caught driving while distracted, they'll be fined the base rate of $615 if settled out of court, and up to $2,000 if they fight the ticket and lose. They'll also receive six demerit points and their licence will be suspended for seven days.
Finally, third-time offenders will be fined a flat rate of $615 if settled out of court, and up to $3,000 if they fight the ticket and lose. They'll also receive six demerit points, and their licence will be suspended for 30 days.
For novice drivers--drivers with either a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence--the fines will be the same, but their licences will be suspended for longer; 30 days for the first conviction, 90 days for the second conviction, and if they are convicted a third time, their licence will be revoked and they will have to restart the process.
Further, drivers who endanger the lives of others due to being distracted could face additional charges for careless driving.
The penalties for careless driving can include six demerit points, fines up to $2,000, a jail term of six months, and a licence suspension of up to two years.