New fines for distracted driving in Ontario

Insurance Insights | June 12, 2015

New fines for distracted driving in Ontario

As of June 2, 2015, penalties for distracted driving in Ontario have increased! Among a number of changes to Highway Traffic Act, fines for distracted drivers will increase from the old range of $60 – $500 to between $300 – $1,000, plus three demerit points. Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca explained that the increase in the penalty is not to penalize drivers with larger monetary fines but to get the message across that texting or using a mobile device while driving is extremely dangerous.According to a survey, 77% of young adults are very or somewhat confident that they can text safely while driving. In actuality, in 5 seconds , travelling 90 kmh, you can drive the length of an entire football field without watching the road*! The idea behind these increased fines is to educate new drivers especially on the seriousness of distracted driving.Some of the other areas that have been affected with these updates include:

– Fines for opening a car door into the path of a cyclist will increase to between $300 – $1,000- Motorists must now leave a one-metre distance when passing bicycles- Cyclists are allowed to use paved shoulders on non-400 series Ontario provincial highways- Drivers must now wait until pedestrians completely cross the road at school crossings and crosswalks

As a whole, the items in this bill are to keep drivers focused while on the roads, to protect cyclists and pedestrians, and keep every party sharing the road accountable to their own safety and the safety of others! 

* Learn more texting and driving stats here: