Along with the new year, Ontarians didn't just get their first significant snowfall of the winter season, but also some new distracted driving laws to keep in mind- and the threat that if they didn' keep them in mind, Canadians would be hit with some serious consequences. The change in legislation when it comes to getting behind the wheel came as a result of revamping the current distracted driving laws to further deter drivers from letting themselves get distracted while behind the wheel.
Along with new rules came strict fines such as first offenders of distracted driving seeing a loss of their license for 3 days as well as losing 3 demerit points and having to pay a $1000 fine. Though considering distracted driving can be a pretty broad term, Ontarians began to worry over exactly what could count as distracted driving and land them in facing such harsh penalties.
Thankfully the Ontario Provincial Police publicly clarified claiming that there are three main distraction types that officers are looking for when it comes to determining if someone is distracted while driving:
1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road.
2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel.
3. Cognitive: taking your mind off what you're doing.
While eating can fall under distracted driving, police confirmed that drinking a coffee while driving is not going to land you in hot water with the police and will not be counted as distracted driving. The same also goes for if you are checking on people in the back seat of the car briefly, or glancing at a GPS or your phone *if it is stationed on a hands-free prop, to check directions.
This is definitely good news for caffeine lovers and the directionally-impaired but regardless of whether you are prone to attempting to multi-task while driving or not, it's definitely a good idea to check out the new legislation for yourself. To learn more about Ontario's new distracted driving laws you can click here.
Source: Caledon Enterprise