Get a phone call while on the road? Or see your friends sending you multiple messages? Always pull over safely to the side of the road before taking that call or answering that text. Fines for distracted drivers have not only increased in Ontario, but will have long-term consequences as a result. It’s imperative for drivers to be cautious on the road, not only because of the severe penalty they may face, but to avoid causing harm to yourself and others. 

Fanshawe Driving School wants to help keep you safe while driving and that’s why we’ve comprised a guide on everything you need to know about penalties and fines for texting and driving in Ontario. Be a smart driver & read below:

What Is Considered Distracted Driving?

The government of Ontario’s distracted driving law apply to the driver’s use of a hand-held communication and/or entertainment device. The following is considered distracted driving and applies to drivers while on the road as well as when stopped in traffic or at a red light:

  • Using a phone or hand-held communication/entertainment device to text, send an email, dial, talk or browse. You can only use your device on the road or when stopped to dial 911 if there is an emergency.
  • Using a tablet, or gaming console or other electronic entertainment device.
  • Watching a video or other visual displays on your device.
  • Programming your GPS manually instead of by voice commands.

The previous actions listed are illegal. However, you are able to use a hands-free wireless communications device connected to your vehicle or earpiece. You can view a GPS display if it is installed into the car’s dashboard or secured onto the dashboard with a device holder.

What Are the Potential Fines and Penalties?

Drivers with a G1, G2, M1 or M2 license can face severe penalties and fines compared to more experienced drivers. This can include:

  • 30-day licence suspension for a first offence.
  • 90-day suspension for a second offence.
  • Cancelled licence for third conviction.

Drivers with an A, B, C, D, E, F, fG or M license will face detrimental penalties including:

  • First Offence: 
    • Fine of $615 (including victim surcharge as well as court fee) or a fine of up to $1,000 if ticket is fought and lost or summons received
    • Three demerit points and/or 3-day licence suspension
  • Second Offence
    • Fine of $615 (including victim surcharge as well as court fee) or a fine of up to $2,000 if ticket is fought and lost or summons received
    • Six Demerit Points and/or 7-day suspension
  • Third and/or additional Offences
    • Fine of $615 (including victim surcharge as well as court fee) or a fine of up to $3,000 if ticket is fought and lost or summons received
    • Six Demerit Points and/or 30-day suspension

With Fanshawe Driving School, we will provide you will all the knowledge you need on road laws and regulations to keep you safe on the road. Our driver’s education is the leader in the driving school industry with a first-time drivers test passing rate of 98%. Book one of our packages today to get started on being a defensive driver!

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