In 2010, following a slew of studies linking cellphone use in the car with car accidents, the province of Ontario began fining drivers for “distracted driving” – for using cellphones or other handheld devices while driving.
Penalty for cellphone tickets
At the time of writing, the penalty for using a cellphone while driving in Ontario is a fine of a total of $280.00 – increased from a fine of $125.00 that was established when the offence was first introduced. Currently, Ontario is looking to tighten penalties for cellphone tickets even further. The province is proposing increasing the fine to a maximum of $1,000.00, and imposing three demerit points on drivers convicted of driving while using their phone or another handheld device.
The most significant penalty, however, comes from the insurance company in the form of increases to your insurance premiums. At the end of the day, even though there are currently no demerit points associated with the offence, insurance companies usually consider the charge very serious, given the amount of research that suggests the danger of using cellphones and other handheld devices while driving.
Fighting cellphone tickets in Ontario
There are only two instances when you can use a cellphone as a driver – if you are using it to call 911 in an emergency, and if you’ve pulled off the road. Otherwise, cellphone tickets are highly technical, and usually require expertise to fight. In Toronto, this is not a charge that can often be settled with the prosecutor – these cases often go to trial. There are a number of issues that a skilled paralegal can bring forward to help win a trial in a cellphone use charge – the best defence depends on your particular case. Contact us for an assessment of your phone use ticket.