Driving while distracted has become a national epidemic. However, just because it is common doesn’t mean it is safe. And it also doesn’t make it okay in the eyes of the law.
In fact, distracted driving laws in Ontario are harsher than ever now, and it is crucial for drivers to take the potential consequences of this offense seriously.
New laws aimed at curbing distracted driving
Starting in 2019, Ontario became home to the toughest penalties for drivers repeatedly caught driving while distracted in Canada. The increased penalties reportedly come in response to troubling statistics, including the fact that distracted drivers caused the most fatal accidents in Ontario recently.
Why you should take this offence seriously
With these laws in place, police may be especially motivated to stop drivers they believe are distracted. And with increased focus on this particular offence, it may be more likely that you could wind up paying a hefty fine or a suspended licence.
If you are among those charged with distracted driving, it is crucial that you take seriously your legal options. This includes the option to work with a lawyer and defend yourself against the accusation. Doing so is important for many reasons.
- Severity of consequences: Even for a first offence, drivers can see steep penalties, including a $1,000 fine, three demerit points and a three-day suspension of their licence. Repeat infractions come with higher fines, more demerit points and longer suspensions.
- Defending your record: You cannot have a second conviction if you don’t have a first. As such, avoiding that first conviction can prove to be crucial if you end up facing another offence in the near future.
- Protecting other interests: A distracted driving offence can result in higher insurance premiums; it makes it difficult or impossible to get to work or pick up your kids; it could also lead to a criminal record and imprisonment.
Defending against charges
It is crucial to comply with driving laws, pay attention and avoid dangerous driving behaviours. However, people make mistakes. Avoiding and/or mitigating the damage of a conviction can make it easier to learn from driving mistakes instead of having to pay for them for years to come.