Distracted Driving in Ontario
Distracted driving has become a major problem in the province of Ontario. According to the Ontario.ca website, the number of deaths by collisions caused by distracted driving has doubled since the year 2000. Additionally, 2013 data shows that one person is injured during a distracted driving collision every 30 minutes in the province of Ontario. If you are guilty of distracted driving beware! A distracted driving conviction can have the following penalties on your auto insurance:
Increased rates – Your rates could go up for the next several years
Lose your auto insurance discount – Because you are now considered higher risk
More expensive quotes— Insurance companies may not want to insure you
Cancellation of your auto insurance policy—Depending on the circumstances
High risk—You may get stuck with this label and will no longer qualify for regular insurance
Examples of distracted driving:
- Interacting with a passenger
- Talking on your mobile phone
- Holding objects other than your phone
- Talking/singing/dancing alone
- Adjusting radio/climate control
- Other phone interactions
The Ontario government is about to crack down
To combat the risks posed by distracted driving, there have been reports that the Ontario government will be creating harsher penalties for distracted drivers whose actions cause the death of a fellow motorist. The current penalty for this is six months jail time, $2000 in fines, demerit points and license suspension. The new laws, however, may make the penalty six years of jail time, fines as high as $50000, six demerit points and license suspension.
This crackdown is in part due to the statistic that a road fatality occurs in Ontario every 17 hours. The changes to the law would cement the province as having the toughest distracted driving laws. The Minister of Government Relations for the CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) in South Central Ontario recently said the following:
“The new measures proposed by the provincial government will hopefully encourage motorists across Ontario to keep their hands on the wheel and focus on the road…It only takes a moment to dramatically change your life or someone else’s. No text message or e-mail is worth risking your life or the life of another road user.”
With penalties this harsh, it’s best to make sure your eyes are on the road.
The consequences just aren’t worth it.