WATCH: Province wants demerit points attached to distracted driving fines

Bill would also impose a one-metre rule when passing cyclists

Distracted driving fines may soon have demerit points attached and include higher penalties.

As Newstalk 1010 told you first, the province has introduced legislation highlighting a number of changes to the highway traffic act Monday afternoon, including cracking down on distracted driving. The proposal includes issuing three demerit points for distracted driving.

It would also increase fines for distracted driving to $300-$1000. The range is currently at of $60- $500 - the exact number of the fine is set by the courts.

Transportation Minister Glen Murray underlines province is serious about getting those behind the wheel to stop talking on the phone without a hands-free device or texting while driving.

Murray has set a priority to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on the road related to distracted driving.

But that's not all the bill focuses on.

If passed, the bill would see drivers have to keep at least a one metre distance when passing cyclists on the road.

The bill will also touch upon dooring laws - when those in a parked car hit cyclists when swinging open their door. It is also proposing fines increase to the $300-$1000 range. It's also proposing to raise the demerit points from two to three.

The province also wants drivers to yield the whole roadway to pedestrians at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers. That means not passing a pedestrian as soon as he or she walked in front of your car but is still on the road.

Murray says this bill came together with suggestions from the OPP, CAA and both opposition parties.

Meantime, there are nods of approval from road watchdog organizations.

CAA is happy with the proposed changes to the Highway Safety Act. Director Teresa Di Felice says it's about getting people to realize that it's time to put other things away when they're behind the wheel.

While pleased with the legislation, Di Felice says she will be working with the province to include other distractions moving forward - such as putting on make-up, eating and tending to children.

CEO of Share the Road Cycling Coalition Eleanor McMahon believes the one metre passing rule is doable. She says it comes down to common sense when sharing the road.

While McMahon offers there may be traffic tie-ups because of this, motorists won't be waiting for hours when trying to pass a cyclists. She says the few seconds you may have to wait to pass a cyclists, can save a life.

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  1. dama posted on 03/17/2014 02:48 PM
    ok, 3 demerit points.. and up to $1000 fine...
    hope drivers now will just concentrate on their driving....
    1. Sam posted on 03/17/2014 10:53 PM
      @dama I've always wondered I drive the gard every day downtown what's all that freakin signage and billboards above the gard intended to do?
      It's all bs. Like smoking keep on raising taxes because it's a sin tax but they would never ban it. To many $$ coming in.
      BS I say
  2. Angry Bill posted on 03/17/2014 04:12 PM
    Ok, I'm going to be the one guy here that points out that people have their heads in the sand. This isn't about getting demerit points for texting and driving. That's just one narrow focus that they are focusing on, because of course, who can argue against texting and driving being bad?

    No. You will get demerit points and a huge, honking fine for ANYTHING relating to your cell phone. Even if the damn thing is just sitting on the passenger seat, falls to the floor, and at the next red light while you are stopped, you pick it back up and put it on the seat. Yep.. Because you had it in your hand for a couple of seconds, for ANY REASON, you will now be charged, get your demerit points, and pay what.. a thousand bucks? Not to mention a thousand extra because your insurance premiums just shot up?

    Seriously, get your heads out of the sand, folks. I'm all for stopping texting and driving, but this stupid law in its current form is.. well.. stupid. Extremely so.

    There was a cop on foot patrol, who gave a ticket to a motorist who did the responsible thing and pulled over and stopped his car in order to make a phone call. He wasn't even driving, or pretending to, and yet the cop, who was ON FOOT, gave this guy a ticket for distracted driving. Um.. yeah... That makes all sorts of sense.

    So get your heads out of the sand, folks. As long as brain damaged cops unthinkingly just hand out stupid tickets just because they can and not because they need to, you are going to get shafted. We all are.

    By all means, give tickets for actual distracted driving. Not for frigging bogus crap like they tend to do now.

    Cha-ching. That's all it is, for everyone concerned.
  3. Mark7 posted on 03/17/2014 05:59 PM
    The demerit points for 50 km/h or more over are 6 points. The same for dangerous driving, 6 points.

    Why is distracted driving which has been proved to be more dangerous than drinking and driving, not have AT LEAST 6 points, or even better yet 9? At 9 points one has to go for an interview at the Ministry of Transportation to explain why they should not suspend your licence. At 15 points it is mandatory but they still have the right at 9 to take it, and should.
  4. AdrianoC1981 posted on 03/17/2014 10:31 PM
    I'm sorry, but I'm not a big fan of this new proposed law. I for one do understand that texting and driving could be a very dangerous occurance on the roads, but if a person is unable to hold a cell phone in their hand and operate a motor vehicle at tha same time, well then maybe they shouldn't be driving at all. Eventually there will be restrictions for talking to people who are actually sitting in the vehicle with you. Distractions like putting on make-up, I could understand, eating, a little bit questionable(unless it's spaghetti and meatballs and you're using a fork and spoon), but tending to your children, come on, are we serious now. If this law passes, they might as well make all vehicles one seaters with no radios and little bubbles over them(so nobody gets cellphone service) oh yeah, did I forget to mention a governor chip(so the car maxes out ar100km per hour). Really, seriously, instead of moving forward, we're going back 20 years. I am we'll aware that many people may not agree with me on this one but you know what, I can eat a sandwich, talk on my cell phone, drive with my FEET, in reverse and still am probably a better driver than half the idiots outthere who aren't distracted drivers, just BAD ones.
    1. Angry Bill posted on 03/18/2014 10:21 AM
      @AdrianoC1981 This is what happens as a result of voting in socialist style government. The exact scenario you described is actually what they are aiming for. When I heard you weren't even allowed to deal with your kids, that blew my mind. So, guess what. You're going to need to put your kids in separate dog crates in order to drive them anywhere. Because that is the only way in which you won't ever have to deal with them while driving.

      But come on.. we all know what this is really about, right? It's all about REVENUE GENERATION. That's it. Full stop. End of story. The reason why the liberal socialists keep coming up with more and more stupid and restrictive legislation is because it generates revenue. Lots of it. Because the laws are largely stupid and unworkable. And they're getting more and more so, because people are ACCEPTING it. I see other posts right here saying "good, maybe that'll stop distracted driving". Those people are buying it hook, line and sinker. Those are the people that the government LOVES.

      As per my previous post, we know the cops won't use common sense in giving out tickets. They'll hand them out like candy for the flimsiest of excuses, regardless if you were actually distracted or not. Doesn't matter. And that's what I have the issue with. If they stuck to giving them out for actual distracted driving, fine. I have no problems with that. But they won't. We know they won't. And yet these stupid, expensive (for us) laws will pass, and once again, we will be screwed.

      And you know what will happen once a significant portion of the population, years down the road, and as a result of these stupid laws, stop bringing their cell phones in the car? Once that revenue generation stream starts to dry up, they will find something ELSE to slap us with, start a campaign about how dangerous it is, and how many lives it takes, and ram more legislation through to open up a new revenue generation stream. And, just like before, we'll all swallow it. Hook, line and sinker. Because we're all suckers.

      Alberta is looking more and more attractive by the day, I tell ya. Ontario is becoming more and more unlivable. Can you imagine if the libs get back in? Holy crap.. My wife doesn't want to move away from her family, but I'd give her the ultimatum. I wouldn't be able to stand living in a province with such a high concentration of brain damaged, liberal voting sheep. Ontario is no longer just the arse hole of the country... it's now 2 miles up it.
    2. AdrianoC1981 posted on 03/18/2014 10:35 AM
      @Angry Bill The problem really isn't "Distracted" drivers, it's "Incompatent" drivers. The majority of drivers on the road must have gotten their licences out of Cracker Jack boxes. Also, the government should also crack down on distracted pedestrians. Too many people walking around nose deep in their i-phones, I-pads and what not with earphones deep in their ears blinded to the fact that vehicles are racing back and forth trying to get from A to B. they don't understand that if they get hit by a car, the car will always win. Once again, I'm not condoning distracted driving but, if we actually screen the current licensed drivers on the road today, I'm sure we'd be able to get rid of a lot of them that aren't very confident driving distracted or not. CASH GRAB FOR SURE!
    3. Angry Bill posted on 03/18/2014 10:45 AM
      @AdrianoC1981 Unfortunately, bad drivers in Ontario (in particular the GTA) are a fact of life. You're not going to get rid of them. You can't legislate against stupidity. Same with pedestrians. Me, I consider it an argument for Darwin for these pedestrians who wander across the road while in their own little world. Eventually they'll remove themselves from the gene pool.
    4. dama posted on 03/18/2014 03:17 PM
      @AdrianoC1981 Your points are valid regarding "distractions" but texting is worst than those distractions you mentioned.

      I was behind a Caravan recently and it was travelling so slow, I went by him and he was texting, so he was slow due to his texting for he has no more hands on the steering wheels....

      Use BLUE tooth if that call is REALLY important...

      I dont answer or text when I am driving, so this law wit demerit points, if approved, will not affect me and people who wants to "chance it" and got caught, they are the one that will be bitching..

      I would rather the legislation confiscate the cell phone and car for a 2 weeks, then that MIGHT change the driving habit....,

      Did the stunt driving law change driver;s habit? You still read that drivers going over 150 km daily ? ... Yes..

      So will this 3 demerit point law change driver;s habit? Probably not.. for it is just money they can afford to pay as fine and more insurance premium...
    5. Karl Burgin posted on 03/18/2014 03:19 PM
      @AdrianoC1981 I am not one for conspiracy theories- and I don't have much tolerance for them.
      But when I heard that the only reason the Liberals are letting this pass (with the demerit points add-on), is to help appease to the insurance companies for 15% rate drop.
      Dave Agar called it crazy. If it were ANY other government, I would probably agree with him. However, here I'm not so sure its as crazy as it sounds.

      I've longed learned since, that if the Liberals are pushing anything, you better make damned sure you know the underlying reason, before supporting it.
    6. Karl Burgin posted on 03/18/2014 03:21 PM
      @dama That many not help much.

      With everything going to the cloud and the ability to sync between phones, people could just go to their providers saying they lost their phones, get a new one, and then sync everything back.

      A few years ago, taking away the phone would have been the perfect solution. Nowadays, not so sure it is.
    7. Angry Bill posted on 03/18/2014 03:57 PM
      @Karl Burgin The insurance companies are very much in bed with government, Karl. The insurance racketeers rely on the government forcing us to pay their usurious insurance premiums.

      The insurance racketeers LOVE this new legislation. It gives them yet one further opportunity to blast our current insurance premiums through the roof. At zero liability or cost to them.

      Horvath has the IQ of a turnip if she thinks that anyone is actually getting any kind of discount from the insurance racketeers, much less 15%. It's all a shell game. People have reported on these forums that their insurance premiums just jumped 20%, for no reason. 15% discount? hahahaha. Only the worst kind of sycophantic liberal sucker would believe that.
    8. dama posted on 03/18/2014 04:00 PM
      @Karl Burgin The inconvenience of getting a new phone(even if you can get another one for FREE, (does Rogers give youa FREE phone for lost of stolen cell phone? ) wil make one think twice and also the car too which one has to pay "daily storage"( impound) will always make you thin twice about texting while driving..
    9. Karl Burgin posted on 03/18/2014 04:10 PM
      @dama A new phone- most likely not. But a replacement/second-hand phone is still a lot better than what you used to get a few years ago. I think the longer the contract, the better the chance you have of getting a good replacement phone.

      The car being taken away will be more of a pain though.... ;p
  5. HP posted on 03/18/2014 10:59 AM
    American drivers in the deep south are the most courteous, focused drivers...they never use their horns, never cut you off, obey all of the rules of the road including driving at the speed limit, always stopping at stop signs, and letting all drivers merge safely. They also give pedestrians and cyclist a wide right of way. They even have bike lanes on the interstates where the speed limits exceed 120km/hr...higher in Texas. They drive some states it's legal to drink beer while driving as long as they don't exceed .08...most of the accidents are caused by tourists and slow drivers.

    If Ontario where to introduce a concealed carry law, miracles will happen...we can probably eliminate half the driving laws and raise the speed limit. we could drive naked and distracted and the other drivers would enforce friendly driving. works in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. You don't need laws when some drivers carry always assume that they all do.
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 03/18/2014 03:15 PM
      @HP Actually Americans in general I believe are more courteous drivers than Canadians. I've been to New York and Buffalo many times, and if they're in the fast lane but not driving up to speed, and you happen to come up behind them, they will actually let you pass. Unfortunately, that isn't the case here. That's because very few people are aware of their surroundings when they are driving. All they do is either look straight ahead, or down at their phone.
  6. Starchild posted on 03/19/2014 12:06 PM
    All this is conspiracy against people. People will not stop using their cell phone and it will be even more dengerous because they will try to hide it more. The insurance companies will benefit only from this stupid law because they can raise the rates. This how this traitor government sells people to corporation interest. The real solution would be a mandatory software update. All cell phones have built in GPS tracking device(primarly to violate every aspect of your life) and that can be used easily to detect speed and location. Ones speed, let's say if over 8 km/h is detected on road then the device will lock the keypad. I know...then what about the passengers? Well, nothing. The public transportation can have another device what cellphones can detect and unlock the keypad. Also the manufactures can work little more on voice activated devices(which they already using to spy on you-google speach recognition for example) so the drivers can text or call without touching the cell phone. The technologies are there except the goverments like double standard laws so can fork out more money from you.
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