Increased Fines and Demerit Points for Distracted Driving On The Way

Many of us have been enjoying the sunny days of summer (in between the very rainy ones). Windows open, rooftops open, music blaring, less congestion on the road, seems like the perfect combination for an easy drive.

But clear roads, less traffic and more hours of sunlight can also mean more temptation for speeding and distracted driving.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and local police forces typically set up campaigns around long weekends to catch impaired and distracted drivers, hoping this will be a deterrent for dangerous behaviour. This practice has been around for many years.

Yet, many people continue to drive distracted, whether it is texting and driving, using their smartphones in another capacity to browse the Internet, answer emails or use another type of handheld device.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, the Ontario Liberal Government has plans to pass legislation that would increase the current fine of $280 for distracted driving up to a maximum of $1000 and 3 demerit points. Whether or not this will deter drivers from texting behind the wheel remains to be seen.

An article in OurWindsor.ca discussed how the OPP support the proposed legislation and the “grim statistics” relating to distracted driving in Ontario. There are 4 leading causes of death on Ontario’s roadways:

1. Failure to wear a seatbelt
2. Impaired driving
3. Aggressive driving
4. Inattentive driving (distracted driving)

It turns out that distracted driving is currently the number one cause of crash-related deaths on Ontario’s highways, and OPP statistics reveal that in 2013, 86 deaths resulted from distracted driving. In addition, the OPP have laid 19,000 distracted driving charges!

In 2014, OPP have linked 31 highway fatalities to distracted driving and approximately 4,000 collisions have been associated with distracted or inattentive driving. 9,982 distracted driving charges have been laid.

It makes sense that the OPP is supportive of tougher penalties; distracted driving affects public safety.

The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) advises that a driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash if texting while driving and 5 times more likely if talking on a cellphone.

Drivers should also be aware that in addition to charges for distracted driving, they can be charged with careless driving. Penalties for careless driving includes fines ranging from $490-$2,000 and 6 demerit points.

Drivers should know that it is not okay to text or email at a red light. Just because your car is stopped, does not mean you are not using the road .

If you or someone you know is a victim of distracted driving or careless driving and has sustained injuries, you should consider contacting an experienced person injury lawyer right away.

At the law firm of Paciocco & Mellow, we have represented many clients who have sustained serious injuries as a result of car accidents, slip and fall accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents and other types of personal injuries. We can help clients with finding the right rehabilitation clinics and help them with their recovery.

People may not be aware of their rights or obligations and may feel overwhelmed about the legal process. Personal injury litigation is complex and Paciocco & Mellow is a Windsor Personal Injury Firm that has successfully represented many injured persons.

The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow aims to help provide you with Peace of Mind at a Difficult Time. Contact the Windsor personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We can provide you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.