Beefed Up Distracted Driving Penalties are Coming in Ontario

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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.