Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving, it is against the law, and is a habit that can be changed.

What happens if you drive while distracted?

Distracted driving can cost you and others in the form of expensive fines, and even injury or death. No matter how much driving experience you have, a lot can happen when you are not focused on the road.

Ontario Law

It is against the law to use hand-held communication and electronic entertainment devices while driving. This means you cannot talk or type on cell phones, a GPS, laptops, or DVD players while driving. It's also against the law to look at display screens such as laptops and DVD players unrelated to your driving.

A distracted driving charge can cost you:

  • a fine of $615-$3000
  • three to six demerit points
  • license suspension up to 30 days
  • penalties increase with each conviction

If you hold a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence, and are convicted of distracted driving, you’ll face these same fines. You won’t receive any demerit points but you will face longer license suspensions.

Are you a distracted driver?

Any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and/or your attention away from the task of driving, you are a distracted driver.

Doing any of these activities while driving is distracting and dangerous:

  • Answering a phone call (even on a hands-free device)
  • Reading a text message
  • Sending a text message
  • Checking your email
  • Taking a "selfie"
  • Watching a video
  • Eating and drinking
  • Fixing your hair and makeup
  • Reaching for something
  • Attending/talking to passengers 

For tips you can use to break the habit and avoid the costs of distracted driving visit Distracted driving - Ministry of Transportation.

For more information, check Road Safety - Public Health Ontario

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