With the rise of more and more casualties to distracted driving, it is important to remember that when we take our eyes off the road when driving, we put our lives and the lives of others at risk. What counts as distracted driving is texting, eating, drinking, changing a playlist, using your navigation system, reading, typing or anything that would have you lose focus on the one thing that matters. Driving.

Although, with hands free technology, you are permitted to use some calling and navigation services if the system is mounted or built in the vehicles display. Using the GPS and playlists on a media player are also allowed if it is turned on before you start to drive, not during. Even stopped at a stop light or intersection, it is against the law to check your phone or hand held device (unless it is an emergency to call 911).

Ontario’s Distracted Driving Laws Are Getting Stricter

New rules for an automatic drivers suspension for convicted drivers in Ontario will soon be taking affect. If convicted for the first time, you would be given a greatly increased fine of $1000 as well as a license suspension of 3 days, a second conviction would result in $2000 in fines and 7 days license suspension, the third conviction would have penalties of $3000, 30 days license suspension as well as 6 demerit points. Just leave it in your pocket! Its not worth the risk of these penalties or your life!

Tips to avoid distracted driving

Use any of these tips to avoid distracted driving and its penalties:

  • turn off your phone or switch it to silent mode before you get in the car
    • put it in the glove compartment (lock it, if you have to) or in a bag on the back seat
  • before you leave the house, record an outgoing message that tells callers you’re driving and you’ll get back to them when you’re off the road
    • some apps can block incoming calls and texts, or send automatic replies to people trying to call or text you
  • ask a passenger to take a call or respond to a text for you
    • if you must respond, or have to make a call or send a text, carefully pull over to a safe area
  • silence notifications that tempt you to check your phone
  • allow plenty of time for travel so you aren’t in a rush
  • avoid eating and drinking at the wheel
  • do not groom at the wheel

“Based on preliminary data from 2016, distracted driving was to blame for 7,435 crashes in Toronto. Of those collisions, eight were fatal, 2,642 resulted in injury and 4,785 caused property damage.”
– Toronto City News

The main focus while on the road should be the road. Please be safe and careful on the roads.
No text, song or video is important enough to risk your life or the many lives around you.

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