Ontario Distracted Driving Ticket
We’re sure each of you has ever been texting SMS or changing your route on GPS while driving. But did you know that 26% of all car accidents involve the usage of the cell phone? Being distracted while driving means that you are up to 4 times as likely to be involved in a collision.
Did you know that when using a phone while driving your motor vehicle you’re losing almost 50% of the information in your driving environment? Statistics is quite impressive, right? That’s why the Ontario government always improves and implements new careless driving laws.
But we’re not here to moralize you. We’re about to explain to you what it all means and how to proceed if you’ve been caught by the police and received a cell phone ticket.
What is Distracted Driving in Ontario
According to Ontario’s distracted driving law (namely section 78 (1) of the Highway Traffic Act), no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other prescribed device that is capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages.
Moreover, no person shall do the same things when stopped in traffic or at a red light. The only exception is calling 911 in case of an emergency.
If you want to make a call, text, program your GPS device, use your tablet, etc. you should park in an appropriate area and proceed with all the necessary actions. Otherwise, you’ll be penalized.
Please note, that a driver can drive a motor while using the abovementioned devices in hands-free mode or may use hands-free devices.
Ontario’s distracted driving laws don’t cover such actions as eating while driving, drinking, smoking, making make-up, etc., but all those things are related to careless or dangerous driving, so be cautious.
Penalties for Hand Held Device Ticket Ontario
Once you’ve got a cell phone ticket in Ontario (this is the same as a hand-held communication device ticket), you can face the following penalties (A to G drivers):
|Type of penalty||First conviction||Second conviction||Third and subsequent offence|
|Demerit points||3 demerit points||6 demerit points||6 demerit points|
|Fine*||minimum $615||minimum $615||minimum $615|
|Mandatory licence suspension||3 days licence suspension||7 days licence suspension||30 days licence suspension|
*fine includes a victim surcharge and the court fee
Penalties for novice drivers
According to Ontario’s distracted driving laws, there are no demerit points for novice licences (upon conviction), but suspensions are much longer.
- minimum fine of $615 (incl. victim surcharge and court fee);
- 30 days driver’s licence suspension (first conviction);
- 90 days driver’s licence suspension (second conviction).
Also, your insurance company can use your record of driving with a handheld device ticket and your insurance premiums may be increased for up to 3 years. Demerit points remain on your licence for up to two years.
Actually, fighting distracted driving ticket in Ontario is a very delicate issue, because it’s strictly controlled by the government. Thus, prosecutors were instructed not to let such tickets go. It means that your chances to reduce demerit points or charges are quite low.
Even if one of your friends has already successfully beaten the texting and driving ticket, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have the same result. That’s why the best option here is to hire a distracted driving ticket lawyer.
How to Fight a Distracted Driving Ticket Ontario
Step 1: Hire a professional distracted ticket lawyer or paralegal, who has great experience in this sphere. It’ll significantly increase your chances to withdraw your charge and to keep your driving record clean.
Step 2: File your distracted driving ticket with a court within 15 days and get the meeting date with a prosecutor or a trial date depending on a court location. Sometimes even if a trial option is selected a court will arrange an early meeting to ensure there is a good reason to go to trial to fight distracted driving charges.
Important: traffic ticket paralegals can save you time and money by handling your issues with hand-held communication device tickets without you going to court. At this stage, you also need to prepare questions to ask a policeman about the details that they saw.
Step 3: Prior to your early meeting with a prosecutor you should try to get the evidence of the police officer that will be used in court to prove your guilt in actually using the phone while driving your motor vehicle. Show up at trial and be ready to answer any question about every little fact from the day when you were caught using a phone or another type of entertainment device while driving.
Also, you can cross-examine a policeman in front of the judge and present your personal story of what happened at the time the police officer alleges you were breaking the law.
Don’t use common excuses like “It was an emergency and I needed to call my mom/dad…” – it was heard by the judge so many times! Here it’s better to develop your defence strategy according to Ontario’s distracted driving laws’ peculiarities.
We understand that not all of you are lawyers and can deal with some legal technicalities. X-COPS knows how to fight a cell phone ticket in Ontario, that’s why we are ready to help you.
X-COPS specialists pride themselves on the success rate we demonstrate when fighting charges in court – 98%. First of all, it’s possible due to accumulated over the years knowledge, hard-earned experience and bespoke approach to each and every case we’re dealing with. If you value your time and money, call us now!