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Distracted Driving Fines Increase As of March 18, 2014

The Ontario Government has increased the fine for distracted driving from $155 to $280, making the fine for distracted driving one of the highest in Canada. The increased fine will take effect on March 18, 2014. 

This is the first time the fine has been increased since its introduction in October 2009.

The increased fine includes a $50 victim surcharge fee and $5 court cost. 

Ontario’s government views distracted driving to be as deadly as drunk driving. The Ministry of Transportation reports that distracted driving continues to be a growing problem on Ontario’s roads. 

The Ontario Provincial Police report that distracted driving is a causal factor in 30 to 50 percent of traffic collisions in Ontario, but the statistics may be higher due to under-reporting.   

Recently, Toronto Police ran a campaign called “The Text That Could End Them All” where they used a hearse to catch distracted drivers.  Currently, the OPP are running a campaign that ends on March 14, 2014 targeting distracted drivers. 

Under Ontario law, it is illegal to talk, text, email or hold any type of handheld device while driving. If you want to use your phone, you have to be parked (lawfully- you cannot be in a no parking zone) or safely pulled over. 

In 2013, distracted driving fatalities surpassed both impaired and speed related fatalities in fatal motor vehicle accidents investigated by the OPP. 

Recently, the Globe and Mail published an article about distracted driving and looked at the myth of multitasking. It was even suggested by a driving instructor from Young Drivers of Canada that “a complete overhaul of the culture of driving” is necessary because of all the advances in technology. 

CAA provided information that it takes 33.6 seconds to reply to a text message, 10.6 seconds to answer a cellphone, and 26.7 seconds to answer a GPS. 

Some interesting statistics courtesy of CAA

  • Texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash event compared to non-distracted drivers (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 2010)
  • 84% of distracted-driving related fatalities in the US were tied to the general classification of carelessness or inattentiveness (U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2009)
  • 80% of collisions and 65% of near crashes have some form of driver inattention as contributing factors (U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2010)
  • Distracted drivers are 3 times more likely to be in a crash than attentive drivers (Alberta Transportation, 2011)
  • Driver distraction is a factor in 4 million motor vehicle crashes in North America each year (Government of Canada)
  • Economic losses caused by traffic collision-related health care costs and lost productivity are at least $10 billion annually, or about 1% of Canada’s GDP (Government of Canada)
  • In 2010, distracted driving was a contributing factor in 104 collision fatalities in British Columbia (RCMP)
  • International research shows 20-30% of all collisions involve driver distraction (Alberta Transportation, 2011)


It is especially important not to text and drive or participate in distracted driving during inclement weather.  Even taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can be dangerous. Distracted driving puts you and everyone on the road in danger. 

The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow prides itself on its reputation of excellent service and client satisfaction. If you have been injured as the result of a motor vehicle accident, it is important that you contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow. 

A lawsuit is an overwhelming process and we aim to provide reassurance to our clients. We are available to help you through your difficult time. 

Contact us at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We will be there to assist you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.