Ont. proposes bigger fines, demerit points for distracted driving

Driver uses a cellphone while driving. (Fotolia.com)

Driver uses a cellphone while driving. (Fotolia.com)

Maryam Shah, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:51 PM ET

TORONTO -- If the transportation minister has his way, come fall, distracted drivers could earn a fine of up to $1,000 as well as three demerit points.

The proposed change is not entirely new: A March bill wanted to increase the current $60-$500 range of fines to $300-$1,000 for distracted driving, which includes using a handheld device in the car.

But when the June election was called and the legislature dissolved, the bill died.

Now Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca has promised to resurrect it once the legislative assembly returns in October.

Veteran driving instructor Angelo DiCicco, of Young Drivers of Canada, says threatening distracted drivers with demerit points may work better than a potential $1,000 fine.

"That actually will follow you around for two years," he said. "If the ministry is actually serious about getting a message across, then it has to go beyond monetary fines.


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