New penalties for distracted driving go into effect across Ontario today
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, January 1, 2019 7:37AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 1, 2019 2:47PM EST
Ontario drivers are facing harsher penalties for distracted driving starting today.
The provincial government introduced the new rules in a bid to improve road safety.
Those convicted of driving while distracted, including texting while behind the wheel, will have their licence suspended for three days.
First-time fines now range from between $615 to $1,000, up from the previous minimum of $490.
Drivers will also be docked three demerit points for a first distracted-driving offence.
Provincial police say the measures are necessary to reinforce the fact that driving while distracted poses a safety risk that many drivers ignore.