Beefed Up Distracted Driving Penalties are Coming in Ontario
Transportation Minister Glen Murray announced wide ranging changes to distracted driving laws in new legislation a couple of weeks ago. These changes are long overdue and have been called for by the police, the public, coroners and advocacy groups such as the CAA. I am glad to see the proposed changes.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents in Ontario, and the penalties have been weak to date. Some of the proposed changes include:
- Maximum fines of $1000
- Three demerit points (and corresponding insurance increases)
The new legislation will also bring in some additional fines for the protection of cyclists. Dooring a cyclist will now carry three demerit points and up to $1000 in fines. Motorists will also be required to leave at least a 1 metre distance between their vehicles and the cyclist when passing them.
Minister Murray has hope that the Bill will quickly pass the house as it is an all-party bill.