What are the Rules for Distracted Driving in Ontario?

A stock photo of a person looking at their phone on top of a car.

2022 Distracted Driving Rules in Ontario

Hardly a week goes by where we don’t witness distracted driving behaviours on our way to work. Not only do we want to make sure you’re driving safely, but we also want to help you avoid collecting any of the series of increasingly expensive fines. The consequences for novice drivers are even more serious. Let’s take a closer look at some helpful information.

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What Counts as Distracted Driving in Ontario?

Who among us hasn’t been guilty of sending a text or email while we’re on the road? This is not only a potentially expensive thing to be caught doing, but it’s also extraordinarily dangerous. Within the province of Ontario, drivers are not even legally allowed to hold their phone (or any other device) while driving. This also includes if you’re stopped at a red light. Some other examples of distracted driving behaviour that can draw the ire of police include:

  • Reading maps or other materials
  • Brushing your hair/applying makeup
  • Tending to children or pets
  • Being distracted by events outside the vehicle

Can You Use Your Phone at All While Driving?

Modern technology has made the hands-free operation of a smartphone very easy, and it falls outside the definition of distracted driving. Pairing your phone to your vehicle’s infotainment system, and using the available voice-activation commands to initiate calls is ok. Headsets are ok to use as well. However, picking up your phone to dial a number or scroll through something while driving is absolutely a violation of the law. Also, if you plan to use your phone as a navigation tool, or you have a separate GPS unit, it must be securely fastened to the dashboard or windshield. 

How Much is the Fine for Distracted Driving?

It is much safer and cheaper to change your behaviour before getting pulled over by the police. The consequences for getting caught driving while distracted include:

  • First offence: Fines between $615 and $1,000; three demerit points and a suspended license for three days.
  • Second offence: Fines up to $2,000; six demerit points and a seven-day license suspension.
  • Third offence: Fines topping $3,000; six demerit points and a 30-day suspended license. 

Autohouse Kingston wants you to be as safe as possible on the road. If a newer vehicle with better connectivity technology would help you break these bad habits, make an appointment to speak with one of our product experts, today.