What’s The Fine For Texting While Driving?
Driving requires a lot of focus and attention. You should not multitask while you’re at the wheel and driving on the open road. Unfortunately, many people don’t take driving seriously enough and become easily distracted.
One of the most common distractions today is the cell phone. Many drivers check their texts, take pictures or reply to messages while driving.
This can be a big distraction and can lead to serious accidents. Texting while driving doesn’t just distract car drivers but puts other people on the road at risk as well.
Texting and Driving Accidents
A report from 2009 declared that texting and driving caused twice as many accidents as impaired driving. This number has only worsened since then and can lead to several fatalities. Smartphones, AI assistants, and other such technologies have increased the number of distractions over the years. Here are some facts you need to know about texting and driving:
- Research suggests that drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in accidents if they text while driving.
- It takes no more than 2 seconds of distraction to get into a major accident.
- Statistics suggest that around 400,000 people die every year due to texting and driving accidents. A vast majority of this number are teenagers who already have poor impulse control and less driving experience.
- Both teenagers and adults are addicted to their phones. Texting and driving accidents can happen to anyone.
These are frightening facts that illustrate just how dangerous texting and driving can be. No message is so urgent as to risk your life. You can always call back or park your car to look at it.
Distracted Driving Law – Is Texting While Driving Illegal?
Ontario has a series of distracted driving laws that forbid the use of handheld or display devices during driving. If you’re driving, you cannot:
- Hold a handheld device, use it, call, or text. (The only number you can call is the emergency line.)
- Use handheld display devices like gameboys, consoles, tablets, etc.
- Watch any video on screens like tablets, phones, car’s entertainment center, or more.
- Tamper with the infotainment center, GPS device, and other interactive devices.
These rules apply even if you’re at a red light. You’re not allowed to be distracted behind the wheel, or you might be subject to be fined as per the texting and driving law.
Can I Drink Coffee While Driving In Ontario?
Eating food, biting into snacks, or drinking coffee doesn’t fall under the distracted driving law in Ontario, but that doesn’t mean you should drink coffee while you’re driving. As mentioned before, even a 2-second distraction can lead to an unfortunate accident. It is easy to spill coffee and react instinctively, which can lead to a crash.
It is best to drink your coffee when you’ve parked your car, but if that is not possible, wait until you’re at a traffic light before taking a sip. This reduces the risk of accidents.
Exceptions to The Law
If needed, you can attend to calls using a hands-free device. For example, you’re allowed to wear a Bluetooth headset and talk on the phone. You can also connect your phone to your car’s speaker system and speak to the caller as you would talk to fellow passengers.
Using a hands-free device gives you the best of both worlds. You don’t have to avoid calls or messages altogether, but you’re not putting yourself or others at risk.
The Fine For Texting While Driving
Fines for distracted driving vary depending on what license the driver has and the circumstances surrounding the situation. Here’s a brief breakdown of what kind of fines you can expect:
A to G Licenses
Drivers who own A to G licenses have to pay a different set of fines because they’re not considered novice drivers. Here’s a look at the kind of repercussions they face:
- First Offence – If this is your first conviction, you may be fined $615 or $1,000 based on the circumstances. You will also get three demerit joints and a 3-Day suspension.
- Second Offence – If the matter is settled out of court, you pay a fine of $615. If you receive a summons, you may have to pay upwards of $2,000. You will also get six demerit points and a 7-day submission.
- Third Offence – If the matter is settled out of court, you will have to pay $615. If you receive a summons, the cost can reach $3.000. You will get six demerit points and a 30-day suspension.
If you have any of these licenses and have indulged in distraction driving, you will be fined when caught.
Novice drivers that hold G1, G2, M1, and M2 licenses would have to pay all of the fines mentioned above. However, they don’t receive any demerit points. They suspensions are longer to help encourage them to be more cautious. They face a 30-day suspension on their first conviction, a 90-day suspension on their second conviction, and full cancellation of license after their third conviction. Drivers are removed from the GLS system and must go through the entire process once again to get their license again.
These fines are applicable if you’re caught. Drivers don’t need to be involved in an accident to get fined. Drivers involved in accidents will face other consequences under the Ontario Distracted Driving Law.
What to Do If You’re Involved in an Accident?
Texting while driving places everyone on the road at risk. A careless driver can cause pain and even permanent injury to others. In such cases, you need to hire an experienced legal expert to help you get compensation.
This falls under the personal injury law, and a qualified legal expert can help you get proper compensation for your injuries. Here’s what you need to do after the accident:
- Take clear pictures of your injury and accident site if possible.
- Make a note of the vehicle number and ask for the driver’s license and insurance information.
- Don’t speak to any third-party lawyers who aren’t your representatives.
- Keep a good record of all your medical reports.
- Hire an experienced and qualified lawyer to represent your interests.
An experienced lawyer will consider all aspects of your case carefully to understand liability. They will then collect evidence, ask for witness accounts, and build their case carefully.
Legal professions will try their best to keep the case out of the court to reduce the cost burden and get the matter resolved quickly. Most clients settle through negotiations outside the courtroom.
If you’re involved in an accident and are liable for it, contact a lawyer to represent your interest too. You will have to pay the fines and face the consequences, but a legal representative can help ensure you aren’t exploited.
The texting and driving law is strictly enforced in Ontario to reduce the number of accidents, especially among the teenage population. The best way to avoid trouble is to follow the rules and avoid using handheld devices while driving.
If you’re looking for more advice on the situation, don’t hesitate to contact Conte Jaswal. You can call us on our toll-free number at 1.877.614.0008 as well. Our lawyers will provide excellent advice and help you get the compensation you deserve.