Distracted driving is topping the charts as the number one cause of motor vehicle crashes resulting in fatalities, in Ontario. The Ontario government also revealed the following shocking statistics regarding distracted driving:
- A driver using a phone is four times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road.
- One person is injured in a distracted driving collision every thirty minutes.
The Highway Traffic Act currently defines distracted driving to encompass engaging in the following:
- Driving with a television screen visible to the driver.
- Driving with a computer screen visible to the driver.
- Driving while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication devices.
- Driving while using a device capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic dates, mail, or text messages.
- Driving while using or holding a hand-held electronic entertainment device.
- Driving while using a prescribe device where the primary use is unrelated to the safe operation of the motor vehicle.
Not only does distracted driving result in fatal crashes and crashes resulting in catastrophic injuries, but it also results in hefty fines and legal consequences for the distracted driver.
If a driver is convicted of distracted driving she will face the following penalties if she holds a class A,B,C,D,E,F or G license
- A fine of $490, if settled out of court.
- A fine of up to $1000 if a summons is received or if the ticket is fought in court and lost.
- Three demerit points.
If a driver is convicted of distracted driving and holds a novice license (G1, G2, M1, M2 license) the same charges apply as above, however, heftier consequences will follow:
- A 30 day conviction for the first conviction.
- A 90 license suspension for the second conviction.
- Cancellation of her license and removal from the Graduated Licensing System for the third conviction.
The lesson to be learned is, keep your eyes on the road and away from the cell phone, save a life, and your wallet!
by LINDSAY CHARLES, Associate at McLeish Orlando