Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Ontario proposes demerit point penalty for distracted drivers, heftier fine

Police across the country are on the lookout for drivers who are using a phone while driving.

dolgachov/Getty Images /iStockphoto

Ontario is proposing a potentially costly hike in penalties for distracted drivers by imposing three demerit points in addition to a maximum fine of up to $1,000.

Drivers who receive demerit points after being convicted of using their cell phones behind the wheel could face higher insurance premiums.

Transportation Minister Glen Murray says the government consulted police, the Canadian Automobile Association and other groups before coming up with legislation to impose the new penalties.

Story continues below advertisement

Just last month, Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo of the Ontario Court of Justice signed an order increasing the set fine for distracted driving to $225 from $125 starting March 18.

Under the judge's order, drivers would face a fine of $280, including surcharges, starting Tuesday.

However, drivers who fight the ticket by going to court can face fines of up to $500.

Drivers are allowed to use a cellphone to call 911 in an emergency or if they've pulled off the road.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.