What you need to know about the New Driving Laws
With every new year, changes come and go. This year both the federal and provincial levels of government have decided to implement changes for drivers which include more roadside testing and harsher penalties for distracted driving. The reason for implementing these laws is to make the roads safer for all drivers and passengers.
What now counts as distracted driving:
- Using your phone to talk, text, check maps or choose a playlist while you’re behind the wheel - in fact you can be charged by just holding your phone in your hand while driving
- Other activities like eating, reading or typing a destination into a GPS
What Will Happen If I Am Convicted with Distracted Driving?
1st Conviction is a fine up to $1,000, 3 demerit points and a 3-day license suspension
2nd Conviction is a find up to $2,000, 6 demerit points and a 6-day license suspension
3rd+ Conviction is a fine up to $3,000, 6 demerit points and a 30-day license suspension
If you are a novice driver than the suspensions will be longer and you may have to start the Graduated Licensing Program again.
From an insurance perspective some companies now consider distracted driving a major conviction, which would affect your insurance rates.
New Impaired Driving Laws:
The new laws allow for police to demand breathalyzer tests from any driver they pull over. Previously officers could only test drivers if they had a reasonable suspicion the driver was impaired.
Also it is now illegal to be impaired
within two hours of driving.
These are the penalties now:
First offence, with blood alcohol content of 80-119 mg: mandatory minimum $1,000 fine
First offence, with blood alcohol content of 120-159 mg: mandatory minimum $1,500 fine
First offence, with blood alcohol content of 160 mg or more: mandatory minimum $2,500 fine
First offence, but refuse to be tested: mandatory minimum $2,000 fine
Second offence: mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment
Third or more offence: mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment
Maximum penalties for impaired driving causing no bodily harm or death: summary conviction carries two years less a day imprisonment, indictment carries 10 years imprisonment
Maximum penalties for impaired driving causing bodily harm: Summary conviction for less severe injuries carries two years less a day imprisonment, indictment carries 14 years imprisonment
If you have any questions on how this might affect your insurance please do not hesitate to call us at 905-623-4406 and one of our experienced brokers would be more than happy to help.