Quebec is cracking down on distracted driving laws.
Motorists caught with a portable electronic device while driving, whether it is in use or not, will now face fines of $300 to $600. An increase from the previous $100 maximum fine. Demerit points have also increased as offenders will now be docked five points instead of four.
Drivers who are caught for the second time within two years can have their license suspended immediately for up to three days.
Cyclists will face fines from $80 to $100 if they are caught using a portable electronic device or wearing headphones while biking. Mobility scooter users face infractions of $30 to $60 for the same offence.
Véhicule immobilisé ou non, le cellulaire en main au volant, c’est non! On évite toute forme de distraction. On priorise la sécurité routière et on s’évite des sanctions sévères.
— CAA-Québec (@CAA_Quebec) June 26, 2018
The new rules won’t outlaw the use of electronic devices in vehicles all together, though.
Devices that are integrated into a vehicle and those mounted on the dashboard, handlebars or windshield will be allowed assuming it doesn’t hinder the driver’s operation of the vehicle.
Adjusting GPS co-ordinates is allowed but changing the music, sending messages, taking pictures, making a call or dialing a number is not.
Cellphone use must be integrated into the steering wheel, dashboard or voice activation.
Quebec’s automobile insurance board, the SAAQ, claim that more than 50% of bodily accidents that occur are a result of distracted driving.
The stricter consequences will take effect this Saturday, June 30, throughout Quebec.