Irish texting & driving tab: $1,400

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Those who text and drive in Ireland are out of luck. They're now facing some of the planet's toughest distracted driving penalties, with fines for first offenses topping out at 1,000 Euros -- about $1,400. The penalties, which took effect May 1, increase to a maximum €2,000 for a second offense. Three-time offenders are looking at €3,000 and a possible three months in jail (offenses within a year). Offenders will have to show up in court, instead of taking roadside penalty points. The changes also apply to those "accessing information" (Web sites) via smartphones. The new fines do not … [Read more...]

Ontario plan: $1,000 plus points

Transportation minister Glen Murray of Ontario

The Ontario government followed through with plans to crack down on distracted drivers, proposing maximum fines of $1,000 and three points vs. offenders' licenses. Transportation Minister Glen Murray, left, introduced the "Keeping Ontario's Roads Safe Act" on March 17. The increased penalties for handheld cell phone use and texting had been sought by safety advocates and law enforcement: "Everyone's been saying you've got to put (distracted driving) in the same range as drinking and driving," the minister said. The distracted driving changes were anticipated, and followed action by the … [Read more...]

Manitoba: Distracted driving news

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The use of demerit points vs. the licenses of distracted drivers hasn't done much to halt the dangerous practice, a survey says. More than 40 percent of those polled by CAA Manitoba said more financial penalties were needed to make a dent in distracted driving in the province. Almost all of the 7,000 survey respondents said they continued to see other motorists using their cell phones while behind the wheel. 82 percent felt it was unlikely distracted drivers would be stopped and cited by police, CAA's annual distracted driving survey showed. "Distracted driving has now overtaken impaired … [Read more...]

Australia, New Zealand distracted driving news

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West Australian distracted drivers won't be cheering news that they'll face double demerit points during holiday seasons. Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey confirmed the plan in early April. Drivers convicted of using handheld cell phones will receive 6 points vs. their licenses. The fine of $250 remains the same. The change goes into effect for Easter. "(People) are totally fed up with seeing the crashes and seeing the distraction of drivers with mobile phones," Harvey said April 3. West Australian police used unmarked motorcycles and helmet-cams to bust 1,379 drivers for use of wireless … [Read more...]

Alberta DD law now in effect

Alberta took its time installing a distracted driving law -- it's the eighth Canadian province to do so -- but the new rules clearly are among the most comprehensive in North America. The new Alberta distracted driving law went into effect next Thursday, Sept. 1. The fine is $172 (total). (This post updated Sept. 1) In addition to banning text messaging, emailing and the use of handheld cell phones for drivers, the law prohibits other use various other handheld electronic communications devices, grooming, non-commercial use of CB radios, GPS data entry, writing, drawing, sketching, reading … [Read more...]