Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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II. Dealing with particular situations
 
Driver distractions
 

As of September 1, 2015, if convicted, a fully licensed driver (holder of Class A, B, C, D, E, F, G) or a hybrid driver (holder of a full-class licence and a novice licence such as Class G and M1) who talks, texts, types, dials or e-mails using hand-held cellular phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices face fines of up to $1,000 and three demerit points applied to their driver’s record under Ontario’s distracted driving law. A novice driver (subject to the graduated licensing program) convicted of distracted driving will be subject to escalating sanctions (30-day licence suspension for a first occurrence; 90 days for a second occurrence; and licence cancellation and removal from the Graduated Licensing System for a third occurrence). Viewing display screens unrelated to driving, such as laptop computers and portable DVD players, is also prohibited while driving. Commercial drivers will continue to be allowed to view the display screens of mobile data terminals and logistical tracking and dispatch devices.

Keep in mind that police can also charge drivers with careless driving or even dangerous driving (a criminal offence) if they do not pay full attention to the driving task. If you are convicted of careless driving, you will get six demerit points and can be fined up to $2,000 and/or six months in jail. In some cases, your licence may be suspended for up to two years.

Commercial passenger-vehicle and school-bus drivers need to be aware of potential situations that may distract them from driving. Some distractions occur outside the bus, such as police activity, collisions, scenery or road construction.

Drivers can also be distracted by situations inside the vehicle. In particular, school-bus drivers deal with high levels of noise and activity. If a driver has to take his or her eyes off the road in order to address a behavioural issue, there is a greater risk of collision.

Remember to focus on your driving at all times. A split-second distraction behind the wheel can result in injury or even death.