In today's rapidly evolving age of technology, our ability
to multitask is challenged with distractions at every turn. Such
distraction are dangerous to us, and those around us, especially
when we are driving. With the warm weather and the official start
of summer upon us, car and pedestrian traffic is on the rise along
with increased construction zones. This means that it is time to be
especially alert and vigilant while being on the road in order to
Section 78.1 of Ontario's Highway Traffic Act,
R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, as amended, prohibits drivers from holding or
using a hand-held wireless communication device, or any other
device that is capable of receiving or transmitting telephone
communication, electronic data, mail or text messages. If you
violate this law, you may be subject to a fine between $300.00 and
$1,000.00, and also have demerit points applied to your driving
There is also a possibility of being charged with Careless
Driving under section 130 of the Highway Traffic Act,
which, if convicted, would result in a fine between $400.00 to
$2,000.00, and/or six-months of imprisonment, and a potential of a
suspended driver's licence for up to two-years.
If you're distracted driving causes injury to others, you
may be charged with dangerous driving under Section 249(3) of the
Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, as amended. The
penalty under the Criminal Code for this offence is a jail
term of up to ten years.
Although the law focuses on prohibiting the use of hand-held
devices, it is recommend that you avoid the following dangerous
distractions while driving:
Eating or drinking;
Personal grooming, including but not
limited to, applying makeup, and adjusting clothing, jewellery, and
Reading maps or printed
Setting GPS coordinates, the
dashboard clock, or other instruments in the vehicle;
Attending to children or other
Attempting to locate items in bags or
the back seat;
Engaging in arguments with
Listening to the radio or music at an
excessively high volume; and
Allowing pets to travel on your
Remember, any activity which takes your attention away from the
road and surrounding area should be avoided or attended to before
or after beginning your journey. With this in mind, you are one
step closer to enjoying safe travels at every turn of the summer
months to come.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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