Over 3 million insurance quotes
Enter your postal code

Distracted driver fines now in effect

February 10, 2010

In October of 2009, the province of Ontario banned texting and/or talking on a handheld device while driving. Warnings with no fines were issued for a three month period. Effective February 1, 2010, the warning period is over and drivers can now be fined as much as $500.

If $500 isn’t enough to change your driving habits, consider the fact that you could end up paying a whole lot more when you factor in the increase you may see when your automobile insurance policy renews. Depending upon your driving record, you could see a drastic increase in your insurance rate. If you already have one ticket on your record, the addition of a Distracted Driver conviction could see you incur an increase of as much as 10%. This is over and above the average 8.8% premium increase that many insurance companies applied for and received in 2009. In other words, the total increase on your car insurance premium as a result of the two convictions could be almost 20%. 

If you are involved in an accident, texting or talking while driving, you could face a Careless Driving charge. This carries a fine of up to $1000, plus six demerit points on your licence. In this instance, your insurance premium would increase by 50% just for the conviction, plus you would have an at fault accident on your record which could increase your premium by as much as 100%.

For example, if your current premium is $1500 annually, you could see an additional $150 added onto your premium as a result of a Distracted Driver conviction alone. When you compare the total cost of this conviction (the fine plus the increase to your car insurance premium) against the cost of a hand-free device for your cell phone (as low as $30) you are likely to find that regardless of the conversation, ignoring this new legislation is just not worth it.

Send us an e-mail at contactus@insurancehotline.com and let us know your story: Have you changed your driving habits as a result of the ban on handheld while driving, or have you been pulled over since the February 1st effective date?

  • Jack Miles

    Hmm, I thought the fine was $150. Either way, I firmly believe the fine should be $10,000. It’s a sickening behavior that has and will continue to take lives. If there were enough room in prison for these people, I’d love to see imprisonment time as well.

Pan Am Rules of the Road

© Mikecphoto | Dreamstime.com - Traffic On The Gardiner Express PhotoTraffic is expected to be heavier during the Pan Am Games. The new temporary HOV lanes, it's hoped, will alleviate the congestion. Read more »

Auto Insurance Tips for High-Risk Drivers

If you are a high-risk driver you probably know it already, but many people don’t understand what earns them this title. Learn more about high-risk drivers, and the insurance options available to them. Read more »

Tips for Avoiding the Most Common Traffic Tickets

Traffic Tickets - SpeedingTraffic tickets are one of the most common reasons for increased insurance rates, and the common driving habits that result in getting one are more than just an expensive behaviour – they are also dangerous. Most of the common traffic tickets are very easy to... Read more »