Ontario Distracted Driving
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 usage of the 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 your phone being behind the wheel 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 laws regarding distracted driving.
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 distracted driving ticket.
What is Distracted Driving
According to Ontario’s driving laws, 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 for you actions. Otherwise, you’ll be penalized.
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 Distracted Driving
Once you’ve got a cell phone ticket in Ontario, according to the recent law changes you can face the following penalties:
- minimum fine of $610;
- 3 demerit points;
- 3 days driver’s licence suspension for G drivers;
- 30 days driver’s licence suspension for G2 drivers (if it’s first offence).
Also your insurance company can use your record of driving with a handheld device ticket and increase your insurance premium for up to 3 years. Demerit points remain on your licence for a maximum of 2 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 in 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 ensure your driving record stays 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 distracted driving tickets without you going to court. At this stage you also need to prepare questions to ask a police officer about the details that they saw.
Step 3: Prior to your early meeting with a prosecutor you should request or obtain police officer’s evidence that will be used in court to prove your guilt in actually using the phone while driving. 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 police officer in front of the judge and present your personal story of what happened at the time 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. That’s why X-COPS is ready to help you. X-COPS specialists pride themselves on a 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!