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

Forty-five deaths in Ontario can be laid to distracted driving so far in 2014, OPP says. Distracted driving was the second-deadliest cause of fatalities as of early October, Ontario Provincial Police say (speed was No. 1). "Drivers have it within their means to end (these) road deaths ... because these are not 'accidents' that occur through no one's wrongdoing. ... the tragic result is always related to poor driving behavior," said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair. The distraction-related deaths count of 45 in 2014 compares with 68 for all of 2013, OPP reported Oct. 7. Read the Ontario … [Read more...]

British Columbia: Distracted driving news

British Columbia drivers talking on handheld cell phones will face 3 demerit points vs. their licenses as of Oct. 20, 2014. Attorney General Suzanne Anton said the province is looking at higher fines, but for now the $167 fine stands. "It's clear that the $167 fine is not enough on its own, so we're starting by targeting those people who are talking on a hand-held device while they're driving with more severe penalties,” Anton said Oct. 8. "Ticket volumes show us that more drivers are ticketed for talking on an electronic device than for texting and driving, and so that is where we decided to … [Read more...]