Distracted driving laws were first implemented in 2008. Every province abides by their own rules when it comes to distracted driving and some provinces want to change this. Quebec, for example, wants distracted driving to be a criminal offence, meaning you could be faced with jail time instead of just a fine and demerit points. No matter what your stance is on the laws behind distracted driving, we want to ensure that everyone stays safe on the road.
Distracted driving is defined as “the practice of driving a motor vehicle while engaged in another activity, typically one that involves the use of a cellular phone or other electronic device.” Many of us think that distracted driving only applies to talking or texting on your cellphone but most provinces also consider reading, writing, and grooming a distracted driving offence. Yes, there have been reports of people reading a book while driving, painting their toe nails while driving, and eating cereal while driving. Overall, when you’re in your car, you shouldn’t be doing anything but keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
A police officer can fine you for distracted driving even if you’re stopped at a red light. The only time you will not be charged for distracted driving while in your car is if you are parked in a designated parking spot.
Distracted driving laws do vary by province, so here is a template to follow:
|British Columbia||$543 first offence
$888 second offence
|Ontario||$490 – $1000||3|
|Quebec||$80 – $100||4|
|Nova Scotia||$233.95 first offence
$348.95 second offence
$578.95 subsequent offences
|Prince Edward Island||$500 – $1200||5|
|Newfoundland||$100 – $400||5|
|Northwest Territories||$322 – $644||3|
|Nunavut||No laws in place|
No matter where you are, distracted driving isn’t worth the cost of someone’s life so please stay alert anytime you’re on the road.
For more information on distracted driving laws, click here.