Toronto: Police Target Distracted Drivers from Feb.15-21, 2016

Update: see previous posts – August 31, 2015 Ontario is Ready to Enforce Stiff Fines of up to $1,000 this Fall for Distracted Driving, June 2, 2015 Bill 31, Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act (Making Ontario’s Roads Safer), 2015 Receives Royal Assent

Increase fines for distracted driving from the current range of $60 to $500 to a range of $300 to $1,000, assigning three (3) demerit points upon conviction, and escalating sanctions on convictions for novice drivers.
Distracted driving is serious business now. As of last June, upon conviction of distracted driving, a motorist faces a fine between $490 to $1,000 and the accumulation of three (3) demerit points. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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Every year, for the last few years, in the month of February, the Toronto Police have launched the same campaign “That Text or Call Could End it All” a blitz targeting distracted drivers.  The difference this year however (compared to Feb./15), are the fines under the Highway Traffic Act, $490 up to $1,000 plus three (3) demerit points. In February, 2015 the fine for distracted driving was between $60 – $500 and back then, there were no demerit points.

A Novice Driver (without a full “G-Licence”) convicted of Distracted Driving (A novice driver is one with a G1, G2, M1, M2, M2-L or M2-M licence.) face a minimum 30-day suspension (suspensions to be increased on any subsequent convictions) in addition to the other penalties.

On Tuesday, February 16, 2016, outside Toronto Police Service Traffic Services, 9 Hanna Avenue, between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m., the Toronto Police Service will launch “That Text or Call Could End It All,” safety campaign.

This safety campaign will begin on Monday, February 15, 2016, and conclude on Sunday, February 21, 2016.

Under section 106 of the Highway Traffic Act all occupants of a vehicle must be wearing their seatbelts, with a few exceptions. The driver of the vehicle is responsible for themselves and anyone under the age of 16. If an occupant is not properly wearing their seatbelt, the driver and all occupants over 16 years of age, can receive a ticket with a fine between $200 and $1000 and two (2) demerit points for a period of two (2) years, if convicted. This law has been on the books in Ontario for over 39 years (coming into effect on January 1, 1976). Ontario was the first Province to enact this law.
Police are aggressively targeting distracted drivers this week. Novice drivers receive the harshest sanctions. A Novice Driver (without a full “G-Licence”) convicted of Distracted Driving (A novice driver is one with a G1, G2, M1, M2, M2-L or M2-M licence.) face a minimum 30-day suspension (suspensions to be increased on any subsequent convictions) in addition to the other penalties. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

This one-week initiative will highlight all dangerous activities associated with drivers who talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held communication and entertainment devices. This campaign will incorporate the use of both the stealth and fully marked police vehicles.

All police officers will be paying special attention to those drivers who choose to drive while distracted. Distracted driving is any action that a driver engages in that takes their focus away from the safe operation of their vehicle which includes, but is not limited to, the use of hand-held communication and entertainment devices. Distracted drivers are a safety risk to themselves and other road-users. The Toronto Police Service is committed to ensuring the safety of everyone using the roads in and around our city.

The use of hand-held communication and entertainment devices while driving is known to distract drivers from driving safely. Legislation is in place which has created specific offences for this driving behaviour.

Since 2011 the Toronto Police Service has laid over 95,000 charges for offences related to distracted driving.

'I was trying to txt u. Ran into a cop car. OMG': Woman who crashed into police car and injured a child fined for texting while driving after cops read confession on her phone. Photo by fightyourtickets.ca
photo by fightyourtickets.ca
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