Can I Claim Compensation from a Distracted Driver and How Will The New Distracted Driving Laws in Ontario Affect Road Users?

December 27th, 2018 by Marc Spivak

In a recent blog post, we discussed the legalities surrounding the operation of motor vehicles while impaired by alcohol or drugs, under the Criminal Code of Canada.  Accompanying the fairly new Cannabis legislation, are further stringencies concerning Ontario drivers, which are expected to come into effect on January 1st, 2019.

Any driver convicted of distracted driving, will now be sanctioned with demerit points and have their driving licence suspended for up to a maximum of thirty days. However, the period given is determined by the number of times the culprit has been apprehended and convicted for the prohibited act.

Drivers who are caught conversing on their mobile phones, texting, dialing or emailing from any electronic handheld device can also be fined up $3000 in addition to the suspension of their driving licence. –  Evidently, the initiative is to encourage safer diving and to dissuade drivers from driving carelessly. However, while it will be interesting to observe whether the rollout of stricter laws which impose harsher penalties are successful, it would be advisable for drivers to put away their devices before they start their journey.

Does this mean that drivers aren’t getting the message?

Arguably, this could very well be the case. However, once implemented, Ontario will undoubtedly have the toughest penalties for drivers that repeatedly disobey road rules and find themselves convicted of distracted driving.

That said, if you find yourself less worried about the prospect of having to pay a fine. Keep in mind that you may be subjected to what may seem an excessively increased car insurance premium also.

Moreover, distracted diving is more than just using your handheld devices while at the wheel of the car. For instance, according to the official Government of Ontario website,  there are a number of activities which are deemed distracted driving, stating ‘when you aren’t focused on the roads, things happen fast’. Activities such as:

– Eating or smoking

– Reading (books, maps, newspapers)

– Playing extremely loud music

– Personal grooming

Just to name a few. Nevertheless, it is always important to stay abreast of driving laws within with your province, as enhanced restrictions may actually be on the horizon and as one can imagine having a suspended licence can really interfere with everyday life.

Distracted driving accidents are often preventable. Drivers have a responsibility to drive responsibly and with others in mind. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of a distracted driver, contact experienced personal injury lawyer, Marc Spivak, of Devry Smith Frank LLP, directly at (416) 446-5855.

Our Lawyers will work diligently to secure the compensation you deserve.

 

“This article is intended to inform. Its content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon by readers as such. If you require legal assistance, please see a lawyer. Each case is unique and a lawyer with good training and sound judgment can provide you with advice tailored to your specific situation and needs.”

 


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