Use of a mobile phone while driving is the most common traffic crime in Toronto.
There are more traffic tickets given out for using a mobile phone than for any other infraction.
Research shows that drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a collision than drivers who focus on the road. When drivers take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds their crash risk doubles.
Ontario’s distracted driving law makes it against the law to operate hand-held communication and electronic entertainment devices while driving. It is also against the law to view display screens unrelated to your driving.
Hands-free mobile devices can be used when driving. A hands-free device is any device that you do not touch, hold or manipulate while driving, other than to activate or deactivate it. For example, actions such as dialing or scrolling through contacts, or manually programming a GPS device are not allowed.
As of September 1, 2015 fines and penalties for distracted driving increased. If convicted of distracted driving, a fully licenced driver (holder of Class A, B, C, D, E, F, G) or a hybrid driver (holder of a full-class licence and a novice licence such as Class G and M1) will receive a fine of $400, plus a victim surcharge and court fee, for a total of $490 if settled out of court. There can be a fine of up to $1,000 if you receive a summons or fight your ticket. In addition, three demerit points are applied to your driver’s record.
For a novice driver, a first occurrence results in a 30-day licence suspension. A second occurrence results in 90-day licence suspension. A third occurrence results in licence cancellation and removal from the Graduated Licensing System.
More information is available at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website.
Publication Date: March 2017