Ontario to crack down on distracted drivers with tough new penalties

Chad Bissonette
Ontario to crack down on distracted drivers with tough new penalties
The OPP caught nearly 700 distracted drivers in our region this week. Deposit Photo.

ONTARIO, Canada- For the past 16 years, Ontario’s roads have been ranked either first or second safest in North America, but there is still room for improvement. Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon, announced Sept. 20 tough new road-safety measures set to take place this fall if passed.

Ontario plans to introduce the new legislation to help protect pedestrians and cyclists as well as reduce the number of people killed or injured due to impaired, distracted or dangerous drivers. The penalties for breaking the laws range from fines to license suspension and possible imprisonment

In addition to the new legislation, Ontario is consulting on the use of cameras on school buses that capture the offence of illegally passing a school bus.

On average, one person is killed on Ontario’s roads every 17 hours due to one of these factors. In 2014, pedestrians and cyclists made up approximately 25 per cent of Ontario’s road fatalities.

“Ontario is taking action to reduce the number of people killed by impaired, distracted and dangerous drivers.”said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation. “These measures will help keep some of our most vulnerable road users safe and help us drive home the message that dangerous, impaired and distracted driving is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated.”

Keeping roads safe is part of the Government’s plan to create jobs, to grow the economy and to help people in their everyday lives.

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