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.