It’s back to school time in Toronto, but that’s not the only new thing that’s starting up this fall. After a busy summer handing out impaired and distracted driving charges, police in the city are looking at upping fines for a variety of offenses beginning on September 1st, and that’s bad news for drivers who have been routinely breaking the law in the city.
Distracted driving is edging up to equal impaired driving in terms of fatalities, and to fight back against people who constantly use their phones while driving, police are doubling fines and adding extra penalties. Starting September 1st, distracted drivers could pay between $300 and $1,000 per conviction. The driver will also receive three demerit points upon conviction of distracted driving, and they’ll have escalating penalties based on how many times someone has driven while distracted. Previous to the increase, drivers only had to pay $60 to $500 in fines and they received no demerit points against their drivers license. s
Alcohol and drug-impaired driving
Prior to the introduction of these new penalties, people who drove under the influence of drugs didn’t receive the same sanctions as those who were charged with alcohol-impaired driving. Now drug-impaired drivers are on the hook for the same penalties as drunk drivers, and they will receive immediate roadside suspensions of either 3, 7, 30, or 90 days as well as a 7 day vehicle impoundment and the possibility of an ignition interlock for repeat offenders.
Toronto is a big city with a lot of drivers clogging its roadways. With new penalties in place, the city may begin to see a drop in impaired driving and distracted driving fatalities, and that’s good news for everyone who drives there.