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...]

Too distracted to dodge the ticket

cops are ahead was warning to distracted drivers

Some helpful citizens in Delta, British Columbia, tried to warn their fellow distracted drivers that police were writing cell phone tickets ahead. Alas, the RCMP says, many of the yakking & driving motorists in Delta were too distracted to see the red-letter warning sign. "Our members still issued 49 violations," a law officer said. The crudely written sign (what else) reads: "Cops are ahead, get off your phone." Delta is part of metro Vancouver. In February, British Columbia police wrote more than 5,500 tickets for texting & handheld cell phone use, despite the widely publicized … [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

New transportation minister Steven Del Duca plans to revive legislation that would stiffen penalties for distracted driving, including the adoption of demerit points. Premier Kathleen Wynne, citing the dangers of texting and driving, said: "It's a real problem and that's why we'll be reintroducing the legislation." The Liberals' previous transportation legislation (below) expired as a result of the June 12 election. It would have increased fines to as much as $1,000 with 3 points vs. the driver's license. Fines were increased in March, but no points came into play. Read the Ontario … [Read more...]

British Columbia: Distracted driving news

Drivers in British Columbia have paid about $26.7 million in distracted driving fines since 2010, a media report said in June. That's about 160,000 tickets for cell phone use/texting since the provincial law went into effect in 2010, CTV News reported. British Columbia's take was about $9 million in 2013, almost triple the $3.5 million of 2010. Police in Victoria are adding rapid transit to their bag of tricks in stalking distracted drivers. Officers will ride buses and look down on motorists in hopes of spotting violators who would then be pulled over by patrol units. "It's important for … [Read more...]