In September 2015 the province of Ontario increased fines and penalties associated with distracted driving.
In Ontario, it is against the law to use hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle and to view display screens unrelated to your driving. Hand-held devices include cell phones, smart phones, GPS devices and MP3 Players. Manipulating or viewing any of these devices while operating a motor vehicle is dangerous and can carry some serious penalties.
A fully licensed driver convicted of distracted driving will receive three demerit points and a $490-$1000 fine.
A novice driver (with a G1 or G2 license) will be subject to a 30-day license suspension for the first instance of distracted driving and 90-day suspension for the second. A novice driver convicted of distracted driving for the third time will be removed from the Graduated Licensing System and their license will be cancelled.
These penalties increase significantly if a driver endangers others because they were distracted. If a distracted driver endangers others they could receive six demerit points, a fine up to $2000, a two-year license suspension and/or six months in jail.
In some very serious cases, distracted driving can lead to a charge of dangerous driving under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Because of the potential consequences for both your driving record and criminal record, always consider getting a legal opinion when faced with such charges. The legal team at DeMelo Law can help in this regard – contact us for a consultation.
DeMelo Law is a criminal law firm operating in London, Ontario.