Changes to Distracted Driving Laws in Ontario

Did you know that distracted driving is now the number one cause of fatal accidents on Canadian highways? This is why on August 1st 2019, Ontario increased penalties in hopes of saving Ontarian’s lives.

  • First offence: 3 day suspension, a $3,000 fine and 3 demerit points
  • Second offence: 7 day suspension, a $5,000 fine and 6 demerit points
  • Three or more offences: 30 day suspension, a $10,000 fine and 6 demerit points

What this means for your Insurance

In light of these changes, many insurance companies are now following suit and have amended the severity of the conviction for a distracted driving offence from a minor to a major conviction. What this means for you and your insurance? After one major conviction you may face a substantial increase in premiums or you may only qualify for a high-risk market.

What constitutes distracted driving? states that it is illegal to (including when you are stopped in traffic or at a red light):

  1. use a phone or other hand-held wireless communication device to text or dial – you can only touch a device to call 911 in an emergency
  2. use a hand-held electronic entertainment device, such as a tablet or portable gaming console
  3. view display screens unrelated to driving, such as watching a video
  4. program a GPS device, except by voice commands

You are allowed to use hands-free wireless communications devices with an earpiece, lapel button or Bluetooth. You can view GPS display screens as long as they are built into your vehicle’s dashboard or securely mounted on the dashboard. But it is important to know that even holding a phone, is illegal.

For more information, call us.