Did you know that a driver using their phone while driving is four times more likely to be in a collision than a fully attentive driver? In 2019, the National Safety Council reported that mobile phone use while driving led to 1.6 million crashes annually. Distracted Driving involves any activity that takes your focus away from driving and it is proven through statistics that distracted driving is a large contributing factor when it comes to vehicle collisions. Here at Trubicars, we have collected and provided useful information about distracted driving and cell phone use to inform you about the seriousness and the consequences behind driving while you are distracted by your cell phone.
In 2009, Ontario implemented the Cell Phone ban which made it illegal for drivers to use a hand held electronic device while operating a vehicle. Many road users are under the impression that you can use such devices while you are stopped at a red light however… THIS IS ILLEGAL.
While you are driving, and while you are stopped in traffic or at a red light, it is illegal to
- Use a phone or other hand-held device to text or call
- Use a hand-held electronic device such as a tablet while driving
- View display screens unrelated to driving
Even just holding an electronic device in your hand while you are driving is Illegal!
If you are convicted of distracted driving, you can face serious consequences, regardless of the class license you have.
If you hold an A,B,C,D,E,F, G and/or M license and are caught driving distracted
- On your First Conviction you could face a fine of $615 (if settled out of court), A fine of $1000 (if settled in court), three demerit points and a 3-day license suspension.
- On your Second Conviction you could face a fine of $615 (if settled out of court), A fine of $2000 (if settled in court), six demerit points and a 7-day license suspension.
- On your Third or more Conviction you could face a fine of $615 (if settled out of court), A fine of $3000 (if settled in court), six demerit points and a 30-day license suspension.
The consequences are just as serious if you are a novice driver:
If you hold a G1, G2, M1 or M2 license and are caught driving distracted
- On your First Conviction your license will be suspended for 30 days
- On your Second Conviction your license will be suspended for 90 days
- On your Third or more Conviction your license will be revoked, and you will be removed from the gradual licensing system (meaning if you have a G2, you will need to restart your G1 by taking the G1 test)
It’s never worth it to put your safety and the safety of others at risk while you are behind the wheel. Especially for something like using your phone. You have a duty as the operator of a motorized vehicle to remain responsible and safe behind the wheel. Your attention and focus should always stay on the road ahead of you while you are driving and you should take any steps necessary to remove any potential distractions. To avoid texting and driving, try practicing some of the techniques listed below:
- Keep your phone out of reach: Out of sight, out of mind
- Silence or turn off your phone: You’re more likely to avoid using your phone if you cannot hear it dinging.
- Ask a passenger to respond: Have a passenger respond to a text message or call on your behalf
- Pull Over: If you absolutely have to answer your phone, when it is safe to do so, pull over to the side of the road and respond. Be sure to let your recipient know that you are driving and will respond again when you are not driving.
- Pre-select: Before you begin driving, queue up any music you might want to listen to, if you are using a GPS be sure to pre-program your GPS before you drive.
It’s important to remember that driving is a privilege NOT a right. At Trubicars we place emphasis to our students that driving is a big responsibility. If you are looking for more information on distracted driving and how to avoid being a distracted driver, check out the Trubicars website: https://www.trubicars.ca/