Ontario Government increasing Distracted driving fines to $280 on March 18th

Ian Hardy

February 25, 2014 11:24am

Last October, the Government was in early talks about implementing stiffer penalties for those caught using their device while driving. Today, Transportation Minister Glen Murray communicated one of the first changes will be to increase the fine amount from $155 to $280, an jump of $125 or 45%. The breakdown is $225 for the distracted driving fine, plus a $50 victim surcharge and $5 court administrative costs. This will go into place effective March 18th.

Murray stated that “Distracted driving is one of the fastest-growing causes of death… When you’re driving while talking on your phone, you’re not just putting your own life at risk, but everyone else’s as well. We are looking at legislative and regulatory options.”

Source: TheStar

  • EP_2012

    Make it $2800 for all I care, but I’d prefer and extended license suspension. Anyone who believes their texts are more important than the lives of those around them shouldn’t be allowed to drive on public roads.

    • Zee

      How about their coffee or sandwiches?

    • EP_2012

      All distractions. You only die once and someone else might enjoy the use of their limbs, so that snack isn’t worth it.

    • Zee

      Really? Even at a red light you can’t glance at your phone, take a sip of coffee, eat something, talk to the passenger beside you?

    • EP_2012

      Yes. There is a measurable difference in reaction time and focus when you are driving and doing something else (talking to a passenger is one of the worst offenders).

      I’m sorry, but there are too many “accidents” and traffic fatalities, of which, almost all are preventable.

    • thomas nguyen

      agreed, and enough times when im in a motorcycle and see that people are distracted driving near me, not caring about anyone but themselves.

    • TrainAss

      Talking to passengers is one thing. Fscking with your phone is another. A passenger can stop talking if they notice a situation which will require your complete attention. Fscking with your phone takes your entire attention. You can miss an entire red light “checking your phone”. What the hell is so important that it can’t wait until your destination? If it’s soooo important, pull in to a bloody parking lot and fsck with your phone.

    • AReid

      I don’t know about all distractions, i.e. passengers, radio, car gadgets (heat, power seats), etc. All those things can be done at a glance or without looking BUT are still distractions.

    • Zee

      I’ve seen bad drivers who are bad WITHOUT ANY distractions. Get those people off the road who shouldn’t even have a license to begin with and you clear up the issue. Going after all distractions is ridiculous, just talking to someone in the passenger seat can be a bigger distraction then glancing at your phone.

    • AReid

      Getting your license is a joke, it’s beyond easy compared to our European counterparts.

    • EP_2012

      Yes, those people shouldn’t be talking while driving.

      Going after distractions is intended to prevent the leading causes of accidents. When you put other peoples lives in danger because of the gadget or food item you are trying to use/consume while driving, you have no right to drive.

      Didn’t we learn as teens that driving is a privilege, not a right?

    • Zee

      “the leading cause of accidents”? I thought excessive speed was the leading cause of accidents, where’s the study that shows distractions are the leading cause of accidents?

    • EP_2012

      “Driver distractions are the leading cause of most vehicle crashes and near-crashes. According to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction. The distraction occurred within three seconds before the vehicle crash!”

      Who cares if it’s the leading cause or the second leading cause? Distracted driving is a problem and these laws are trying to tackle that problem.

    • fuqdiskuss

      This law is about fundraising and the lie is that its about safety. There were already dangerous driving laws that could be enforced for years. But this is about the money you are being lied to. Wake up fool!

    • EP_2012

      LOL. Are you mad because it affects you? I don’t care. Like I said, make the fine $2800, or $28,000. If you are a distracted driver, then you’ve decided to put the lives of others beneath your own petty wants – the punishment should be severe and swift.

    • Al Chui

      “the punishment should be severe and swift.” Wow, maybe you’d be happier if the police officer just pulled out their service revolver and executed the distracted driver on the spot. Would that be severe and swift enough for you?

      Either you don’t drive, or you’re a hypocrite if you do drive and have ever used the radio, heater controls, adjusted your seat or mirrors, or driven with another person or pet in your car.

    • EP_2012

      Talk about a strawman. Swift and severe in court (i.e. not waste tax-payer dollars by dragging it out).

      When I drive, I don’t speak or interact with anyone else in the car. I usually turn the radio off and have my GPS programmed and running BEFORE I leave the driveway. No other interaction is needed.

      If I’m a passenger, I don’t speak to the driver, since I don’t want to be their distraction. Whatever we have to say, can be said when we are safely parked.

      I adjust the seats/mirrors when I’m parked, which I trust most people do.

      I’ve had dozens of animals in my vehicle, but they haven’t been a distraction (they don’t bark or jump around in the car). if you have a pet running loose in your vehicle, then I’d advise you to stop the damn car and crate/seatbelt them or simply don’t drive them around.

      I don’t see why this is a huge problem. Distractions cost lives, so why are you arguing against that?

    • Al Chui

      Amazing, you are the ultimately perfect driver. Insurance companies must be lining up to pay you to insure your vehicles with them. Your post is full of BS and you know it.

      You’ve never interacted with any passenger in a car? Ever? So exactly how did learn to drive? Were you born with that skill already, did you learn by playing GTA? If not, you interacted with the passenger in the seat next to you that was teaching you what to do.

      As others have said, there were laws on the books to deal with this issue long before the gov’t decided they needed a convenient revenue tool. Now they’re just trying to accelerate it to help recoup the money they blew on the Orng, the gas plants, e-health scandals, and others.

    • EP_2012

      You don’t have to believe me. I do my best to be a responsible driver. Am I perfect? Heck no, but I certainly don’t have to check twitter while driving.

      Like all other laws, you shouldn’t be so upset unless you plan on breaking the law. Some people are ok with “three strikes” for drunk driving, I’m not – some are ok with emailing while on the highway, I’m not. And you shouldn’t be either if you value your life.

    • Al Chui

      “Like all other laws, you shouldn’t be so upset unless you plan on breaking the law”.

      You’re probably a CSIS & NSA cheerleader since unless you plan on breaking the law or committing an act of terrorism, then you shouldn’t have an issue with your government spying on you without a warrant. After all they’re doing it so they can protect you.

      You seriously need to give your head a shake and realize that just because the government enacts a law doesn’t mean it is a just law. Once upon a time, the government ran debtor’s prisons too. Guess you think those where good too.

    • EP_2012

      Another strawman? What does the NSA have to do with distracted driving? If you don’t use a handheld device while driving, then these fines won’t affect you at all. If you do, then perhaps these fines will have you checking your devices less often (so you can focus on driving).

    • Al Chui

      You can keep calling it a straw man but it doesn’t make it so. Your premise is that all laws enacted by the government for the protection of citizens are inherently good and therefore you shouldn’t complain or have a problem with them unless you intend to break them. As such since your such a goodie two shoes, you have no problem with any government action that is done in the name of protecting citizens.

      Did you agree with the government when they enacted a law that granted the police special powers for the G20? After all it was for “your protection”.

      Nor should you have a problem with their spying activities since their doing it to protect you.

      If you’re saying you don’t agree with all their laws and actions then you’re a hypocrite for telling others they shouldn’t complain about laws you consider just and others might not.

    • Al Chui

      EP_2012 since your comment is in moderation, I’ll post here instead. We’re talking about laws (and actions) that are supposedly enacted in the name of protecting citizens. I’m not misrepresenting your argument. As for your other law examples, don’t introduce red herrings just because you’ve realized that your position isn’t actually defensible.

      Your beloved distracted driving law, and subsequent increase in the fines is no different than the law they enacted to give police additional powers during the G20. That law was supposedly enacted to ensure public safety. It’s also no different than the governments claim that their warrantless spying activities were cared out to ensure public safety against terrorist acts. See all three were done in the name of public safety, and we know that the last two resulted in gross violations by the authorities.

      The anger against the distracted driving laws is that it is nothing more than a money grab. Take a look at how it’s written and you will see it really is nothing more than a revenue generating tool. Why is using my cellphone at a stop light distracting, but according to the law, I can legally use my in-dash GPS, including inputting a destination? Aren’t both just as distracting as each other? Studies have shown that it isn’t holding the cellphone to your ear that’s distracting, but the actual conversation (even with a hands free device).

      If it was truly about public safety, there wouldn’t be these contradictions.

    • EP_2012

      May I ask what you’d do to improve road safety?

    • Al Chui

      One thing is for sure, it wouldn’t be a revenue generating tool in the name of public safety.

      Hopefully there are some sane judges at the right level in our court system and these laws will be struck down in Canada as recently happened in California.

    • EP_2012

      So what would it be then?

    • Al Chui

      Like I said, it wouldn’t be to allow myself to be an@lly r@ped by a government looking for new ways to generate revenue by pretending they are doing it for public safety. Wake up to reality.

      If the government really wanted to eliminate distracted driving they would enact a law that required all vehicles come with just a steering wheel and one seat in the passenger compartment and that the exterior shell be a faraday cage. Everything else is a potential distraction.

      Since you probably won’t be happy with that. Here’s an idea for the government since they love to spend money like drunken sailors. Buy every man woman and child in this province (13.538 million people in Ontario as of 2013), regardless of whether they need it or not, a Bluetooth headset that way nobody would have an excuse.

      Before you respond saying that it’s not practical, they’ve run similar promotions to entice people to switch to energy saving appliances, light fixtures, CFLs, even home improvement tax credits, plus wasn’t Kathleen Wynn handing out $100 gift card bribes after the last storm.

    • EP_2012

      So you propose that in order to curb distracted driving, we should give people another way to become distracted? How does that help?

      Do you think we should eliminate fines for other things or just this distracted driving one?

      I think it’s reasonable to allow “necessary distractions” – road signs, dashboard controls, etc., but where does twitter or SMS fit into that? It doesn’t, because those are unnecessary distractions. It’s THOSE distractions that this law is trying to curb. The problem is that most people can’t do the responsible thing and stop talking and texting while driving, so the government has to step in. It’d be great if people just took responsibility for their own actions, but we know that doesn’t work (see: drinking and driving, smoking, obesity…).

      Any proposal you make will cost tax payers money, so why not recuperate those costs with fines? As I’ve said a dozen times before, it only affects you if you are breaking the law.

    • Al Chui

      You really can’t be this dense. Sorry, but you lost your argument so it’s time to tuck your tail and go away.

    • EP_2012

      Dense? All you’ve done is complain. I hate to say it, but it just sounds like you’re trying to defend your own bad habits, not trying to reduce traffic accidents and road fatalities.

    • Al Chui

      I have two vehicles, both of which have integrated hands free systems as well as steering wheel mounted controls. I have very little need to take my hands off the wheel, or my eyes off the road. If I do need to respond to a text or email, I can simply pull over to the shoulder of the road and respond. Which BTW, is an exemption in your precious distracted driving law.

      I’ve actually read the legislation, seen all the loopholes that include allowing you to operate a portable GPS as long as it’s “mounted”. Good luck to the cop in trying to prove what you were actually doing with it right before they issued the ticket.

      As for who’s offering opinions and complaining, that would be you. While I stuck to the actual topic and gave examples of how this is a flawed piece of legislation and is in fact a revenue generating tool, you did nothing of the sort. All you did was go off on irrelevant tangents like marriage laws, and health issues thinking that would justify your position.

      At the end of the day, if you want to live in a nanny state where the government tells you everything you can or can’t do, feel free to move to one of the remaining communist countries. I’m sure you’ll feel all snuggly warm there, the rest of us will continue to enjoy the modicum of freedom we may actually have.

      Next time, try to educate yourself before you form an opinion. That way if you do engage in a debate on the topic, you’ll actually be able to debate the topic instead of just lashing out wildly.

    • EP_2012

      I have no problem with your steering wheel mounted controls. They allow you to drive your car safely. Facebook or SMS while driving is a different story and I have no problem if anyone wants to pull over to chat.

      “Irrelevant tangent like marriage laws and health issues?” Sorry, but where did I bring those up in this discussion?

      Bringing up “nanny state” and communism is childish. What does that have to do with reducing traffic fatalities? You’re acting like your rights are being taken from you – you do not have a right to drive impaired (distractions ARE an impairment). I don’t know where you get your sense of entitlement from, but it’s not helping your case.

      And speaking of case – what exactly are you arguing against? The fine ONLY applies to people breaking the law. I’ve said this many times already, but I don’t think you understand, you simply bring up strawmen, complain about the government and then offer no constructive input. What’s your point?

    • Al Chui

      In the comment you posted that got moderated, and you subsequently deleted. So now you’re denying the stuff you post. Typical of someone that doesn’t have a valid argument.

      My point is that you shouldn’t accept a law just because it doesn’t affect you. We as citizens have an obligation to ensure that those who are elected enact just laws, not revenue tools disguised as public safety laws.

      Again educate yourself, and don’t get fooled by the sensationalistic headlines. This law is not a just law.

      I’m done wasting my time with this as it’s been obvious for quite some posts that the only thing you care about is reading your own posts and stroking your own ego. Have a nice life.

    • EP_2012

      Hey, I didn’t any comment and to be quite honest, I don’t remember what was written on that specific comment.

      “My point is that you shouldn’t accept a law just because it doesn’t affect you.”

      It affects me and my loved ones 100%, because if people are deterred from being distracted unnecessarily, then I support it. I’d wish they added a suspension and a loss of demerit points too, but perhaps that will come in time.

      Yeah, talk about ego… mr high and mighty who wants all his freedom at the expense of others. I don’t honestly care what you have to say about this law, because you aren’t actually concerned with safety, and that’s been quite clear.

    • b_diddy

      OK sheep go back to your herd

    • thomas nguyen

      excessive speeds are not the problem, it is speed in general, fast or slow.
      a slow person on a highway, is a danger to themselves and everyone else, probably more so than people that are speeding

    • thomas nguyen

      YOLO

    • EP_2012

      YODO :)

    • Plazmic Flame

      Don’t be retarded. I work 14 plus hours a day and a lot of times I have to eat while on the road. I don’t get a full hour to just sit somewhere and eat. I’m not taking no ticket for eating. FTS!

      Trying to send an email and text, that’s way more distracting.

    • EP_2012

      Sorry, but putting people in danger because you don’t work regular hours is lame. It takes 10-15 minutes to eat, and even the Prime Minister has time for that… you aren’t any more important than the rest of the drivers on the road.

    • hyperhyper

      That’s the issue right there. Changing the radio station or flipping through your GPS screens are harder to catch but they are just as dangerous.

    • tridit

      And legal.

    • Justinn Parkinson

      You can actually be fined as well for messing with your GPS while driving, they worded the offence well as “Distracted” so that it’s more of an umbrella offence then directed at cellphone or “Electronic Devices”.

    • Al Chui

      The law only applies to handheld devices. In car electronics are exempt. You really should go to the ministry’s web-site and see it for yourself, but here is a snippet of the info.

      The law does not apply to:
      Viewing display screens that are built into the vehicle
      – used for collision avoidance systems
      – showing information about the vehicle’s status, or that provides road or weather information
      – Ignition interlock devices
      – Audio devices with screens that display still images (for example, an MP3 player displaying a still image of the artist or the name of the song playing).

      So yeah, it is essentially targeted at cellphones and portable GPS units.

    • Plazmic Flame

      For changing my radio station?? TAKE A FLYING LEAP!!! I guess by all this logic, we shouldn’t have radios in cars. In fact, screw it, rip everything out, just leave the steering wheel and gear shift. Back to basics. Jeez…..

    • ding dong

      i have a wife home alone with 3 kids and my elderly mother if there is an emergency i am the sole provider and dependent for all of them. i need them to call me asap. and i cant miss their call regardless. where i am and when i am. try to be considerate of other people and their situations. it will help others to understand your time of need and difficulty as well.

    • thomas nguyen

      pull over, if you need to take the car, stop the car, or you endanger the lives of people on the road with you.

      you should understand that it is not just “YOU” but also there are others outside your family that is affected by what you may or may not do while driving and on the phone.

    • ding dong

      not talking about texting its about takign calls. simple as that texting is for kids who dont know how to communicate person to person. texting should be used when your not able to talk. this is just getting more and more ridiculous. scratching your crotch might indicate public indecency will be next up and coming

    • thomas nguyen

      agreed, we are talking about talking, but humans are unable to focus while talking and driving, still a hazard, should still pull over asap. not denying that we can talk and drive at the same time safer than texting and driving, but its not safer than being focus on driving without talking.

      but still there are people that cant drive when they are just focused on it

    • Plazmic Flame

      I talk and drive all the time and have been doing it for a really long time. The trick is to never take your eyes off the road. Maybe it’s all the video games I’ve played but I do this with no problem. As long as I can hear the persons voice, my listening is tied to that but my sight, never leaves the road. Same thing even when there’s a person in the car with me, I NEVER turn my head to look at them while I’m driving. My eyes are ALWAYS on the road.

    • EP_2012

      I guarantee if you took specialized drivers test (random hazards) while carrying on a conversation, you’d fail – we all do, which is why people just need to stay off their damn phones and simply DRIVE.

    • EP_2012

      Might I suggest that if the emergency is so urgent that you’d considering putting other lives at risk in order to take the call, then the person calling should dial 911 instead of you.

    • TrainAss

      Why do you think you’re the exception to the rule? Just because you might be needed in an emergency situation doesn’t mean you should be permitted to screw with your phone. And yes, I consider talking on your phone while driving to be screwing with it. If it’s so critical, get a bluetooth headset, or if your car has it built in, use it. There’s no excuse. And if you already do, then great. Stop whining and bitching.

      I have a wife at home, who’s pregnant. If I’m out and she needs me, she’ll call me. If I’m driving, the call is routed through the built-in bluetooth in my car. It’s as simple as that.

    • KEVIN

      There is no justification in endangering the lives of everyone else because your family can’t wait 10 sec’s for you to pull over to answer.

    • KEVIN

      I dont know how the rules are in Ontario, but answer a phone call via bluetooth is fine, they’re just trying to target people that operate the device in their hands while driving.

    • b_diddy

      So what’s the difference talking via Bluetooth headset or holding the phone to an ear?? Do you drive with both hands at ALL times

    • ToniCipriani

      Bluetooth headset or speaker.

    • TrainAss

      2 words. Bluetooth Headset. Problem solved. If it’s an emergency, you can use hands free (holding your phone while it’s on speaker doesn’t count).

    • Tom

      What the others said – use a handsfree. If you’ve forgotten to plug in the wire or turn on the Bluetooth, pull over! That is what I do – I usually turn on BT but sometimes I forget and when that happens I find a safe place to pull over. If I’m on a highway, chances are the call will be missed as having to exit takes more time, but that’s what calling back is for!

    • Plazmic Flame

      Everyone, don’t text and drive, save lives. Get a damn bluetooth headset. Some people even use their freaking Apple headphones but don’t put the earbuds in both ears!! That’s just plain stupid.

  • AReid

    I say a 1 year suspension, forget the fine.

    • EP_2012

      The fine means tax-payers pay less for someone else’s carelessness. The fine should be at least enough to cover the cost of the court fees and law enforcement (HINT: it’s WAY more than a few hundred bucks).

  • KiwiBri

    wow.. 5 years already? Hasn’t deterred a lot of people .. yet.. I see all types of drivers on phones – lots of mothers picking/dropping off kids at school, people shopping, business people taking calls/texting at lights. etc. Add demerit pts and people will start to take notice. Expect a bliz on this now that the revenue is nearly doubled too ;-)

    • fuqdiskuss

      This shi+ law will never reduce the amount of traffic accidents because crappy drivers are to blame. You are the operator of that machine you are responsible for its use. But nope license everybody. I would rather pay 300$ extra for a special license class and not have to drive with the G(ood enough) drivers

  • Max Fireman

    As a cyclist, I see a ton of drivers on cellphones, better vantage point. It’s not gonna stop anytime soon. $$$ won’t stop people texting unimportant gossip at work.

    • EP_2012

      Man, I’d be scared to death about driving next to those people. It’s like everyone’s playing Russian roulette, but the gun is pointed at you.

  • Super_Deluxe

    Lol that’s nothing. Here in Manitoba, the lowest price of a speeding ticket is around $210 and that only going 14 over. A more dangerous matter like this should be around $600 plus a 6 months license suspension. $225 is too generous and won’t have much effect. You better hit the wallet good if you want people to start caring.

  • ArberBeq

    They should at least add at minimum 1 point. As of rigth now it is just a cash grab. They don’t really care about safety.

    • fuqdiskuss

      They will never add a point to this law because they are cowards and they know that if this was not just a pay and go fine the courts will be backed up for a century after Google starts driving everyone because half the people will demand a trial. So the cowards make it a fine so your time is not with the fight. Points and insurance headaches pushes it into its worth arguing over and no longer financially worth it for the courts. Again its all about $$$$ not safety

  • ding dong

    captialist society simply trying to make more profit. if they really cared they would first stop the violence caused by wars that they make more money from then anything. hypocrites of highest status in human history are the capitalist looking for profit maximization by any means possible

  • ding dong

    made 180 million from red light cameras. not just to catch criminals but also to monitor us completely no matter where we are. the excuse they give is safety. i want cameras in the mps offices and their houses as well. how come we are monitored but the elite get away from all this.

  • Ken K.

    Just like war on drugs, it won’t succeed. And WTF is $50 victim surcharge? Do all victims get a cut whenever someone is fined for distracted driving?

  • Norman Fong

    Isn’t it okay to talk on the phone as long as you don’t touch it?

    • ding dong

      its easier for you to touch yourself in canada then touch your phone for an emergency phone call.

    • TrainAss

      Christ man, get off this “emergency kick” you’re on. You’re not special. If you need to make a call, use a proper hands free kit. Bluetooth headset, or in-car bluetooth speaker.

    • TouchMyBox

      Please re-evauluate your life.

  • teddygramz2060

    lol no one cares i still will text

    • Scott

      I hope you’re the first one caught.

    • Humberto Giambrone

      Better yet, hit a lamppost. That way everybody wins.

    • Scott

      Everybody wins if he/she learns a lesson and nobody gets hurt. Enough people have been killed and/or killed themselves by distracted driving.

    • beyond

      i hope you crash and burn your car on a hydro pole….but escape physically unharmed yet severely traumatized :)

    • AReid

      You’re 100% right and that’s why it should be a 1 year suspension. I bet you wouldn’t risk it if you were going to lose your licence for a year.

  • Basil

    A move in the right direction, but FYI: an increase of $125, from $155 to $280, is an increase of 80%, not 45%.

    • tridit

      :)

  • hoo dat

    I better get my distracted driving in before the 18th then!

  • Jay

    is the ontario government smoking crack or something

  • KEVIN

    The comments of these articles always make me laugh.

    I find it hilarious how there is always a group of folks who make comments that try to justify using their phone while driving, either it is how important they are, how better they are at driving than others, or how others( the rcmp) can do it so why can’t they.

    Get over yourself and be a little more considerate of others health and safety. Be accountable for your actions. The last thing I would hate to read about in the news is how a family or a loved one is destroyed because of something that is completely preventable. That goes for driving under the influence, aggressive driving & road rage as well.

    • Zee

      For the record, I don’t text while I drive and I think the law is stupid. You mentioned RCMP, are they not human? Do they not have the same distractions while driving? Why is it ok for a cop to look at his dashboard laptop while driving but not regular people able to look at their phones (or radios, or coffee mug etc etc)? This isn’t about “getting over yourself”, it’s about finding the real causes of accidents as opposed to cash grabs like this.

    • Wasim

      Police officers are trained on how to use the equipment in their car. You cant compare and RCMP officer in his car ( doing his job) to a normal driver on the road. Increasing fines should only be a problem to people who text and drive anyway.

    • Zee

      Oh so you’re saying that training can overcome distractions in the car? Solution then is to train all drivers who study for a license how to safely use a phone and drive.

    • thomas nguyen

      generally i would agree with this, but there are some instances where they have a partner using the laptops and equipment, except for late nights, when sometimes you see them go solo, but less cars on the roads, so its a tad safer. still not sticking up for them, but it is what i have noticed.

    • b_diddy

      Lol

    • Tom

      Cops don’t “use” their laptops while driving. They can glance at them periodically for, say, GPS directions, the way the rest of us do with our Garmins and phones. If they were typing on the keyboard, surfing the web, etc, while driving, they’d get into trouble too.

    • KEVIN

      if you don’t text while you drive then you shouldn’t have to worry, what’s wrong with cash grabbing from people who deserve it? I’m sure it has happened, but how often do we hear or read that a “Cop” caused an accident because they were “distracted”.

      The whole point I was making is exactly what you said, you’re still trying to point fingers at what others are doing.

    • KEVIN

      I really don’t see the point in your comment. The real cause is people being distracted by their phones, but not excluding driving under the influence, aggressive driving, excessive speeding, & lack of courtesy on the road, putting on make up, trying to eat while driving…the list is endless.

      You’re trying to argue/justify a point that statistics have proven does in fact put others at a huge risk.

      The government is trying to crack down on all of these things, to keep everyone safe, rather it being a cash grab or not, you shouldn’t be worried because for the record you stated you don’t text and drive.

      You should be more worried then on cash grabs on the fuel surcharges, property taxes, transit taxes, & income taxes.

    • Tom

      If by looking you mean “periodic glancing then immediately turn back to the road”, without actively operating the device with hands, then regular people are fine.

      I haven’t been penalized for looking at my Garmin GPS fixed to my windshield while driving. My friend does something similar with Google Maps on his phone – no problem. My dad mounts his phone on the windshield so he can see the caller ID and decide whether to answer calls or not (with a Bluetooth headset). No problem either.

      If cops were actually using the laptop (i.e. typing on it) while driving, you’d hear of a lot more cop car accidents. Plus, many of them patrol with partners and the partner takes care of the laptop. I have never seen a solo officer operating the laptop in motion – only when pulled over.

  • Zee

    I think the Ontario government should force everyone to retro-fit their cars so that the driver’s seat is enclosed in a bubble that allows no noise to enter from the rest of the car. You can’t hear the passengers or the radio, have no access to the mirrors or cup holders, all you can do is drive. That’ll put an end to all distracted drivers!

  • abc123

    Nothing more than a cash grab.

  • Bee

    Most of you are just being ignorant. This is about distracted driving and all of a sudden speeding get brought up. In that regard, you think faster speed kills? Look at how Germany has the fastest highways (no limit autobahns) in the world yet they have the lowest accident rate. The more you lower the speed limit, the more time I spend looking at my speedometer worrying that I will overstep the limit and the less time I’m actually looking at the road. Think about that for once.

    • thomas nguyen

      i agree, speed kills, but its not all due to fast speed, if someone on the road is doing 20k less than everyone else, that is more of a danger! Slow people are definitely a danger on the roads.

    • Bee

      Exactly. I’m not proposing we turn our highways into limit-free autobahns. But constantly having people rally for lower speeds is not “safer” at all. I travel between London and Toronto often and majority of drivers are driving faster than the limit in the empty stretch of highway between Mississauga and London. You always have that one person who’s going below the limit because they feel slower is safer. But that forces everyone else to change lanes and pass and do a whole bunch of unnecessary maneuvers which really ends up being more dangerous. Like I said before, when there are random 40 zones on a major road going 60, I end up looking at my speedo more than the actual road. I don’t feel thats safe at all. When I see a radar trap, my natural instinct is to brake which could mess up the car behind me. Instead of trying to cover up money grabbing plots, maybe the government should really try to implement safer driving laws. Those that are blindly pushing for lower limits really should look at both sides of the picture.

    • thomas nguyen

      Preach it brother! (or sister)

    • Tom

      You can’t straight-up compare autobahns to North American highways. The paving on autobahns is actually designed to withstand the higher stress of those high speeds. In areas where the paving isn’t so strong (i.e. due to geography), they actually do enforce “low” limits like 80 km/h. Most drivers don’t exceed 130 anyway – not really much higher than the typical highway speed in North America.

      Best solution: Get rid of human drivers. Someday, those Google car systems will be affordable to the masses… roads wouldn’t just be safer, they’d be less congested as the AI would actually optimize the route instead of blindly following the “best known” path. I could sit back and relax like I would on public transport, while having the conveniences of a private car!

  • Stephanie Wylie

    i don’t understand why i can’t physically hold my phone to my ear, but i am allowed to talk on the phone through bluetooth… just because i have both hands on the wheel (which i don’t wether i’m doing something else or not) i’m just as distracted, because i’m on the phone anyways..

    • thomas nguyen

      if you need to do a critical maneuver, its easier to do it with 2 hands on the wheel, if you have 1 hand on the phone and one on the wheel, you may have to either drop your phone (which most wont cause it is expensive and they value their property) and move your hand to the wheel, all this may sound quick, but in the critical circumstances, it may take 1-2 seconds or more. that is valuable time that can save you or someone else, from a catastrophic accident, to a minor accident or even having a near miss!

      if you have both hands on the wheel while on bluetooth, you are already halfway there to save yourself in those same circumstances.

  • Stephanie Wylie

    I also cant believe for one second, that all these “no distraction drivers”, have not and do not do anything other then look straight when driving, give me a break

    • thomas nguyen

      I do it myself, but I have trained myself to be more vigilant after a near miss, now I dont even have a phone near me. I’m not completely focus on driving as I should, but I’m more aware when I dont have a phone near me, and same with people I sit with and driving.

      there is always some distraction when you are driving, or doing any other activity, but you have to tune them out, and this is just deterring people more from doing 1 less distracted thing.

  • mad cracker

    people messing with their phones and doing other dumb things is as bad or worse than drinking and driving. All it takes is a split second of your eyes off the road to miss a critical situation where those milliseconds mean the difference between killing someone and not. I ride a a motorcycle as well and 75% of my near misses are related to people on their phones. Its disrespectful to those in your vehicle as well as the other humans and animals in close proximity. Put down the phone while in your car. its nothing that can’t wait till you pull over safely,

  • Guest

    Yes, this is purely a cash grab, all the stories of the families that have lost loved ones in direct result of someone being a distracted driver is purely a myth. Really folks?

    • TrainAss

      *deleted by poster*

    • KEVIN

      I don’t get it, you want stats for families that lost loved ones?….

    • TrainAss

      I retract my question. “guest” was calling it those who think this is a cash grab, and people being killed by distracted driving is a myth. Sorry.

    • KEVIN

      I believe they were being sarcastic.

    • fuqdiskuss

      You are correct this is a cash grab and a huge insult to the dead and injured by lying about pretending to address the problem. Why not charge the motorist with reckless driving? Oh because that doesn’t bring in $300…

  • Croc Ography

    Not enough.

  • Zee

    Let me tell you a story, last week i’m driving home, almost at my house on my little side street. I have the right of way with no stop signs, suddenly a lady pulls out of a little side street even though she had a stop sign and was supposed to wait for oncoming traffic to pass. I had to slam on the brakes, honk my horn at her, and she still gave me a dirty look as if I was at fault. For the record, she had both hands on the steering wheel, with no distractions visible. Now there’s a cash grab to nail people who glance at a phone while driving, despite the fact they may be doing so perfectly safely, but there’s no law to nail i****s like that lady who had no idea why she was being honked at.

  • ray

    making a higher penalties doesn’t stop people using the device. why dont you focus on car insurance fraud here in ontario.

  • Farhan Chaudhary

    People are such pussies! People drove without all these “laws” before as well. I’m not a robot, I need to talk to my passengers and I need to flip through the radio. I have a BT in my car and we are allowed to use that. Isn’t that a distraction? Let’s just put a fine on everything we do in a car. The law should be to tighten the driver’s test so all these i****s who don’t know how to drive stay off the road. So many people who are not even distracted are a hazard on the roads. Jeezz!!

  • God

    You could consider it a cash grab since they aren’t adding points like they do in other countries which have had these regulations for a decade.
    If you are going to grab cash, at least make it a grand.

  • phonejockey

    I don’t think this will help. Giving the ticket 100% of the time would deter drivers more, imo. The percentage of tickets vs drivers pulled over is laughable.

  • Jason Szeto

    yeah, they should have ban installing GPS, RADIO, MP3 and CD player on the car, thats help preventing accidents happen. Umm…Whats about the digital clock, anyone ?