The next time you reach for your cellphone while you're driving, you might want to think again. As of this fall, Ontario is cracking down on careless and distracted drivers with new intensified penalties.

Earlier today, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced that the Liberal government is introducing a new legislation this fall that would help eliminate careless and distracted driving,  with careless drivers who cause death fined up to $50,000.

Del Duca says with the new legislation, Ontario would have the toughest penalties for repeated distracted driving offences in Canada.

Under the new legislation, if you're guilty of causing death or bodily harm from careless driving, you will receive a license suspension of up to five years, fines between $2,000 and $50,000, up to two years of jail time and six demerit points. 

Fines for distracted driving - which counts as using a phone to talk, text, check maps or choose a playlist while you’re behind the wheel - will increase from a maximum of $1,000 to up to $2,000 on a second conviction and up to $3,000 for third or subsequent incidents, as well as six demerit points for multiple offences.

The new legislation will also be cracking down on newbie drivers (those with a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence) — convicted of three or more distracted driving offences would see their licence taken away.

Additionally, drivers who don’t yield to pedestrians will see harsher fines under the legislation from a current maximum of $500 up to $1,000.

According to the Ontario government, one person is killed on provincial roads every 17 hours. We can only hope that this new legislation will help keep pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers safe.

Source: The Toronto Star

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