Distracted Driving Fines Going Up… Or Are They?

Clearing Up Some Misleading Social Media Posts

Have you seen a social media post like this?

A slew of social media posts have cropped up close to the end of 2019, claiming there are big changes coming to Ontario’s distracted driving laws as of January 1st.

This is false.

The Government of Ontario did introduce some new fines for driving while distracted on January 1st, 2019, and those fines will remain the same on January 1st, 2020.

If you’re a first-time distracted driving offender and you dispute your $615 ticket, it could increases to $1,000 if you lose.

A second-time offender will receive a $615 ticket that increases to $2,000 if they dispute it and lose. They can also expect six demerit points and license suspension for seven days. 

For third-time offenders, the fine goes up to $3,000 if they take it to court and lose. They’ll also receive six demerit points and license suspension for 30 days. 

Novice drivers will face longer suspensions and possibly see their licence revoked. 

A driver involved in a collision caused by eating, drinking, smoking, reaching for objects, or reading could be charged with careless or dangerous driving.

It is legal to use a hands-free wireless device with an earpiece or Bluetooth, and GPS display screens can be used while driving if they’re built into the vehicle’s dashboard.