Ontario’s Distracted Driving Laws

Monday November 26, 2018

Category: Auto | Laws

Texting and driving or eating a snack while behind the wheel can seem like a harmless act but, you could be putting yourself, others and your insurance rates at risk.

According to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, a driver using a mobile device is four times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road. Based on that statistic and the widespread adoption of mobile devices, it’s no surprise that Distracted Driving collisions in Ontario have doubled since 2000.

What counts as distracted driving?

Using a mobile device is just one form of Distracted Driving. You can also be charged with Distracted Driving if you’ve been caught:

woman eating while driving

If you’ve been charged with Distracted Driving, you may be facing big penalties and your insurance rates will increase. And, if you cause an accident due to Distracted Driving, you may also be charged with Careless Driving.

New Distracted Driving Penalties in 2019

In the new year, penalties for distracted driving will be increasing. The new laws will take effect in January, 2019. The penalties will be as follows:

First Conviction 

Second Conviction

Third Conviction

Additional Penalties for Novice Drivers

And, novice drivers will face similar fines plus a licence suspension of 30 days. Second offences will lead to a 90 day suspension and 3rd offences will result in a complete removal from the Graduated Licensing.

Careless Driving is an even more serious charge and is a Criminal Offense in Canada. If you’re convicted of Careless Driving you’ll face steep penalties and your standard insurance policy will likely be cancelled by your provider.

Higher Insurance Rates

Drivers need to know that a suspension can impact your insurance rate for up to 6 years. If you have a suspension, you will likely require non-standard insurance. With a suspension, it’s likely that your insurer will cancel or non-renew your insurance policy. That means, you will need to find a broker that specializes in high risk insurance.

When Distracted Driving Leads to Careless Driving

If you cause bodily harm or death while driving distracted, you can also face a Careless Driving charge. As of September, 2018, Ontario drivers convicted of Careless Driving can face a charge of up to $50,000, 6 demerit points, a licence suspension of up to 5 years and 3 years in jail.

Safe Driving Tips

Charged with distracted driving?

As soon as you’re charged with a serious infraction, it’s recommended that you speak with a non-standard insurance provider that has expertise in helping High Risk drivers. A professional High Risk insurance provider can help get you the coverage you need and help you get back to better insurance rates.

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