Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

On Sunday January 22nd, shortly after 8:30 p.m. and while on general patrol, a North Bay Police officer observed a male motorist at Lakeshore Drive and MacDonald Avenue use an IPad while driving. As a result, the driver was issued a $490 ticket under the Highway Traffic Act for “drive – handheld entertainment device.”

Reminder to drivers

In Ontario, it’s against the law to operate hand-held communication and electronic entertainment devices while you’re driving and/or view display screens unrelated to your driving. Examples of these devices include iPods, MP3 players, DVD players, GPS, mobile and smart phones, laptops, iPads, and eReaders.

What is the penalty for distracted driving in Ontario?

If convicted of distracted driving, a driver will receive:

  • a fine of $400, plus a victim surcharge and court fee, for a total of $490 if settled out of court
  • fine of up to $1,000 if you receive a summons or fight your ticket
  • three demerit points applied to your driver’s record

(Notice: Instead of demerit points, novice drivers face a 30-day licence suspension.)

Is it illegal to use hand-held devices when stopped at a stop light or stop sign?

Yes. With the exception of 9-1-1 calls for police, fire or ambulance emergency services, a driver must be pulled off the roadway and not impeding traffic, or lawfully parked to use hand-held devices.

For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/distracted-driving.