Canada’s new driving laws, which received royal assent earlier this year will officially take effect on August 1st, 2019.
Fines vary from province to province but can be up to $3000 in provinces like British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Drivers convicted of distracted driving under the new laws will be punished with a licence suspension, a hefty fine and demerit points. The severity of the punishment increases with the number of subsequent offences committed:
- First offence:3 days suspension and $3,000 fine
- Second offence:7 days suspension and $5,000 fine
- Three or more offences:30 days suspension, $10,000 fine and six demerit points
Police will not be able to seize driver’s licences at roadside. They would have to get the approval of a judge in order to be able to suspend any driver’s licences.
Distracted driving is no longer limited to just texting and making phone calls. The Government of Canada has posted a list of activities that counts as distracted driving and it includes anything from simply holding an electronic device to eating behind the wheel .
Police have announced that they will no longer let people off with a warning if caught distracted driving. This means guilty offenders will automatically be slapped with straight fines.
“The time for warnings is certainly gone, warnings served a purpose at the initial stages when people were transitioning to this law, but this law has been in effect for a number of years now. There’s no reason why somebody needs to be distracted.”