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Cell Phone Use While Driving: A Guide to Distracted Driving Laws

June 09, 2024

Every time you drive a car and you distract yourself with other things, such as talking, texting, or watching videos, you can face fines and demerit points. In Canada, you need to follow various rules, and each province has different fines and penalties for distracted driving. For instance, it is against highway traffic law to drive a vehicle while chatting or texting. Let’s check the details. 

Examples of Distracted Driving and What It Is

The word itself indicates that driving while distracted is any activity that diverts your attention from the road. 

The common types include: 

  • Texting, looking at your phone, checking something in the back seat, watching a video.
  • Eating a messy burger, putting on makeup, reaching for something that dropped.
  • Talking to a friend about a fight you had, loud music that gets you pumped, daydreaming.

Today our main focus will be when you use a cell phone while driving. Let’s check what rules Canada has about that. 

Distracted Driving Laws in Canada

Distracted Driving Laws

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On top of the fine, you’ll also get points added to your license. Too many points and you could be suspended from driving for a few days or even a week! Let’s check the legal consequences of distracted driving (demerit points, driver’s license suspension, and fines):

  • Ontario: Distracted driving was a key factor in the province’s high death toll, which persisted even after the pandemic reduced traffic. In Ontario, using a handheld device while driving is strictly prohibited and is punishable by fines, demerit points, and driver’s license suspension/revocation.
    • Penalties in Ontario: A first infraction carries a $615–$1,000 maximum fine, three demerit points, and a three-day license suspension. Longer bans and higher penalties apply to repeat offenders.
  • British Columbia: It is illegal to use a portable device there. By the Driver Improvement Program, infractions may result in penalties, demerit points, and driving restrictions.
    • Penalties: $368 fine, 4 points, and possible license restrictions for repeat offenders.
    • Driver Improvement Program: Repeat offenders may face driving prohibitions ranging from three to twelve months.
  • Alberta: This province prohibits using electronic devices and engaging in other activities, such as reading or grooming, even while there are traffic signals.
    • Penalties: $300 fine, 3 points, for using your phone or doing other distracting things like reading.
  • Saskatchewan and Manitoba: Both provinces highlight the harsh penalties and penalty points associated with using a telephone while operating a vehicle.
    • Saskatchewan Penalties: For a first violation, the starting fine is $580 plus four demerit points; for consecutive offences, the fine increases to $2,100 plus seven days of car confiscation.
    • Penalties in Manitoba: First time? That’s a $672 fine, 5 points and your license is suspended for 3 days.
  • Atlantic Provinces: These areas impose severe fines and demerit points for using handheld devices while operating a vehicle. These provinces include New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador.
    • New Brunswick: Distracted driving violations result in a $280 fine and five demerit points for drivers.
    • Nova Scotia: With each infraction, the penalty for inattentive driving rises. The first ticket has four demerit points and costs $233.95. 
    • Prince Edward Island: Distracted driving violations are punishable by fines ranging from $575 to $1,275 and five demerit points.
    • Newfoundland and Labrador: The first violation carries a $300–$500 fine with four demerit points.
  • Quebec: No phone use while driving or at red lights. Increased fines and driver’s license reinstatement may follow repeat offenders.
    • Penalties: For a first violation, there are fines ranging from $300 to $600 and five demerit points.

Traffic Ticket Lawyers

Traffic lawyers help with driving-related legal issues. Here’s how:

  • In Court: They represent you in court for things like speeding and trying to get the best result.
  • Advice: They explain the rules and your options.
  • Negotiations: They talk to prosecutors to try to lower your penalties.
  • Driver’s License: They help with any issues like a suspended or lost license.
  • Paperwork: They handle all the forms and make sure they’re submitted on time.
  • Learn Rules: They teach you about traffic laws to keep you out of trouble.
  • Appeals: They can help you appeal a court decision if you don’t agree with it.

They’re especially helpful if you have traffic tickets or other driving problems.

Problems with Driver’s Licenses

For many drivers in Canada, issues like renewing their driver’s license, getting it reinstated, or handling suspensions or revocations are major problems. For example, it’s important to know how to have your driver’s license reinstated if it has been revoked for demerit points from distracted driving occurrences. Legal professionals on LawVo and other platforms can help you navigate these procedures, making sure you fulfill all legal obligations and successfully restore your driving privileges.

Contesting a Traffic Court Decision

You have the right to appeal a traffic court decision in Canada if you think it is unfair. It might be difficult to navigate the appeals process since it involves certain legal processes and tight timeframes. Lawyers search services can put you in touch with seasoned attorneys who can help you properly prepare and submit your appeal.

The Role of LawVo in Navigating Highway Traffic Laws

LawVo provides a platform where you can receive comprehensive legal support from skilled lawyers and paralegals experienced in diverse areas of law. The platform offers tailored legal solutions to meet your unique circumstances. With LawVo, you gain unlimited access to legal support 24/7, ensuring you have help whenever you need it. Additionally, all consultations are confidential, protecting sensitive information with industry-leading security measures.

Subscribe to LawVo for continuous support and peace of mind.

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