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Ontario Road Safety > Countering Distracted Driving

Ontario’s Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act, 2009 is expected to come into effect in the Fall, 2009 and through amendments to Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, will prohibit Ontario drivers from using their cellphone, blackberries or other electronic gadgets while driving.  The goal is to have Ontario drivers focus on driving and avoid other distractions.

The penalties are outlined in the Ontario government’s news release, including six (6) demerit points and a $1,000 fine.

From an insurance and personal injury lawsuit standpoint, this legislative change confirms that drivers are responsible for ensuring that they maximize their attention to the roadway to avoid accidents.  The demerit points will appear on your driver’s license history, which may be an issue within a lawsuit arising from a car accident.

Also widely reported was the Road Safety Act, 2009 which also passed Third Reading and is expected to come into effect in the Summer, 2010.  Those changes include increasing penalties for a variety of prohibited actions, including drinking by drivers 21 years and under and running a red light.  The news release is here.

Gregory Chang
Toronto Insurance Litigation Lawyer