Toronto drivers, get ready! This is exactly when and where Toronto police are planning to start cracking down on Ontario's new distracted driving laws - starting next week on Monday, January 14 local police will be going down hard on drivers to implement the province's new 2019 distracted driving laws.
They will be focusing on distracted drivers as well as drivers who block traffic during rush hour. The blitz will be taking place primarily in downtown Toronto, so be extra careful if you're in the area.
You can get a ticket if you are distracted while driving or blocking traffic during rush hour. If your car is left unattended, you will not only receive a ticket but your vehicle will also be towed, resulting in extra fines.
For the blitz, according to Toronto police Supt. Scott Baptist, police will be especially focusing on distracted drivers who pretend that they're not on their phones by hiding them in their laps. The officers will be pretty much everywhere on the lookout for distracted drivers; they will be in both marked and unmarked vehicles, on bicycles and even riding on streetcars.
Now that Ontario's new distracted driving laws were implemented on January 1, 2019, drivers can be given a hefty fine if they violate the rules. For the first distracted-driving conviction, you can already be fined up to $1,000 as well as losing three demerit points and getting a three-day suspension.
For a second distracted driving conviction, you can be fined up to $2000, lose six demerit points and get a seven-day suspension. If it's your third distracted driving offence, fines can be as high as $3000 on top of losing six demerit points and a 30-day suspension.
Previously, the fines were significantly lower. The minimum fine for distracted driving in Ontario prior to 2019 was $490, three demerit points and there weren't issuing license suspensions.
"Distracted driving continues to be a major contributor to deaths and injuries and collisions, including, in particular, those involving pedestrians and cyclists, and it must become a thing of the past," announced Mayor John Tory at Toronto Police Traffic Services, according to the Toronto Star.
The Toronto mayor also said that in the past four years, police had issued over 6,000 tickets to drivers blocking lanes during rush hour during blitzes. Not only that, but over 1,000 cars had also been towed during blitzes. So be extra careful on the roads on Monday, January 14, Torontonians.