This week, the Ontario government revealed its new and updated penalties for distracted and careless drivers. Among the changes is a license suspension for distracted drivers on their third conviction.
The changes are only proposed, but are expected to be put into effect later in the year. In a story in National Post, Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca stated that once these changes take effect, Ontario will have the toughest consequences for distracted driving convictions in Canada.
These amendments to the Highway Traffic Act (Ontario) were motivated after repeated complaints from safety and cycling activists asking for stronger penalties for careless and distracted drivers. According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, someone is killed in a car-related incident every 17 hours.
What Are The New Licence Suspension Penalties for Distracted Drivers?
Aimed at making drivers more accountable for their actions, the new distracted driving penalties include:
- First offence: 3-day suspended licence and potential fines
- Second conviction: $2K maximum in fines and a 7-day suspended licence
- Third conviction: $3K maximum in fines and a 30-day suspended licence
G1, G2, M1, M2 licence holders would face the same fines, but even harsher suspensions:
- First Conviction: 30-day licence suspension
- Second Conviction: 90-day licence suspension
- Third Conviction: licence cancelled
What Are The New Penalties For Careless Drivers?
Careless driving offences, which include situations of illegal lane changes or driving on the sidewalk, currently carry maximum penalties of $2K in fines and 6 months in jail. The new changes affect careless driving charges causing death or bodily harm, and include:
- 5-year maximum licence suspension
- $2K to $50K in fines
- 2-year maximum jail sentence
- 6 demerit points
The unfortunate truth about distracted or careless driving injuries is that they may have been avoided if drivers had exercised greater cautions of care. In order to effectively pursue your right for compensation after a car-related injury, you should seek the assistance of a personal injury lawyer who can help you negotiate a fair settlement or prepare for litigation.