OPP Conducts Distracted Driving Campaign (March 11 -17, 2019)
Orillia, ON, March 8, 2019 - With the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) set to conduct
its Distracted Driving Campaign during March Break, drivers caught using their cell
phones may also get caught off guard by the tougher penalties that took effect on
January 1, 2019.
The new penalties include a fine increase up to $1,000, three demerit points and
a three-day licence suspension. The penalties increase with subsequent offences.
For novice drivers in the graduated licencing system, there is no fine or additional
demerit points but longer licence suspensions now apply.
The deaths of 55 people and more than 9,115 collisions were linked to an inattentive
driver on OPP-patrolled roads in 2018. The OPP laid 13,529 Distracted Driving charges
last year against drivers who chose to make roads unsafe by dividing their attention
between driving and using a hand-held electronic device.
"Among the most dangerous drivers are those who continue to ignore the facts and
convince themselves that using a cell phone while driving is not dangerous and forms
part of today's driving culture. Never let a drive r use this, or any other justification
for using a hand-held device while driving. It is as dangerous a driving behaviour
today as it was when Ontario's Distracted Driving laws came into force ten years
ago". - Interim Commissioner Gary Couture, Ontario Provincial Police.
"Not only is it illegal to use your phone or any other hand-held device while driving,
stopped in traffic or at a red light, it can be fatal. Distracted driving is still
a major cause of collisions and drivers will now face tougher penalties, including
automatic driver's licence suspensions. Don't risk your life and the lives of others,
put down the phone." - Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional
"When you are driving, safety has to be your first priority. Distracted driving
is a real danger to you, your passengers and others on th e road. No call or text
is ever worth the risk."- Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation.
New Distracted Driving penalties
OPP Contact Information