Ontario drivers are about to be impacted by Bill 174, a section of the Ontario cannabis legislation.
As of January 1, those who are caught using a hand-held device, such as a cell phone, while driving will be fined up to $1,000.
They’ll also receive a three-day licence suspension and three demerit points.
Fines will double if there’s a second conviction within five years, and they’ll triple if there’s a third.
Those with a G1 or a G2 licence will have even stricter rules: they may face a 30-day licence suspension after their first offence and a 90-day suspension after their second. If there’s a third offence, their licence could be cancelled.
There will also be increased fines for impaired driving and failing to yield for pedestrians at crosswalks and signalized intersections.
The Bill comes into effect less than two weeks after Ontario brought in new regulations that allow law enforcement to demand a breathalyzer test from drivers, even without reasonable suspicion that they have consumed alcohol.
It’s always been important to drive conscientiously. As of the beginning of the new year, penalties for those not doing so will really reflect that importance.