Canadians to distracted drivers: Enough

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Manitoba has joined Ontario in stiffening its fines for distracted drivers. Both provinces have punishments that rank among the toughest in North America. The Manitoba government on June 4 unveiled a new 5-demerit penalty vs. the driver's license. The existing $200 fine remains the same. Distracted drivers previously faced a 2-demerit assessment. The new penalty goes into effect July 1. "This is the highest level of demerit points in Canada for the use of a handheld device," said Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh, left. All Canadian provinces use demerits to punish distracted … [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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Manitoba will slam distracted drivers with 5 demerit points vs. their licenses come July 1, 2015. The fine remains $200. "This is the highest level of demerit points in Canada for the use of a handheld device," Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh said. The points mean license renewal fees ranging from about $540 to $3,200. The current 2 demerit point penalty was seen as not effective, officials said. In 2014, 5,200 people were convicted of distracted driving in Manitoba. Mackintosh said "28 Manitobans are killed every year by a distracted driver." The automatic licence suspension for drunken … [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...]

Ontario: Distracted driving news

Fines for distracted driving in Ontario will range from $300 to $1,000 -- with three demerit points vs. the driver's license -- under legislation approved June 2. The update to the Highway Traffic Act is the work of transportation minister Steven Del Duca, who cited the "really, really horrific risk" of distracted driving behaviors. Previous fines ranged from $60 to $500, but no points, after an increase in March 2014. Demerit points are now common across Canada. "Ontario's roads are among the safest in North America and this new legislation is intended to keep it that way," Del Duca said of … [Read more...]