Posted 4.10.14 @ 7:55
Last month the fines increased to $280 because of a Chief Justice’s decree about distracted driving - but there’s so much you need to know before you hop behind the wheel! As we go on through this digital age, it’s only the beginning. These new laws are going to shape the rules of the road, our behaviours in Ontario and all of Canada, for many years to come.
It Will Probably Pass
The first thing you need to know: it’s probably going to pass early this spring, and it’ll probably change a few more times to cover everything.
That means the legislation, as it is today, is going to go through. It was $155 before the decree, but even if that were to change, it’s still going to be $280 if you get caught driving around. All-parties support the legislation, it’s super popular with voters and for the most part… it’s already here.
Heavier Fines for Cellphone Use
The new rules mean that if you’re caught using your cellphone while driving, you could be fined as much as $1,000…
But that’s not all.
You could also end up losing 3 points off of your licence, all because you couldn’t put down the phone. Any cellphone use (talking or texting) is covered under this distracted driver clause, so it’s best to either just text when you’re parked or not in the car and installing a hands-free talk system in your car.
Fines Could Go Up to $1,000
That’s right, you could end up paying $1,000 depending on how distracted you are. You could be fined anywhere from $300 to $1000; another new twist is if you open a door in the path of a cyclist you could be fined three demerit points on your licence under the latest changes to the Highway Traffic Act.
Special Cyclist Rules
Along with losing three points off of your licence, you’ll also have to observe a few new rules of the road. For example, you’ll need to stay exactly one metre away from cyclists at all times while on the road. No exceptions - if you’re caught too close you could be fined as much as $1,000.
But it’s not just motorists that will have to be on the lookout - cyclists will also have new restrictions under the rules. For example, if you’re caught without the required reflectors or lights equipped on your bike, you could be fined anywhere from $60 to $500.
While these new rules will change the rules of the road in Ontario for years to come, they will make the roads that much safer. Cyclists and motorists will gradually learn to share the road, we’ll put away our mobile phones and we’ll be able to focus on what matters most - getting where we’re going safely.
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