New Distracted Driving Laws in Effect January 1, 2019

Distracted driving is probably the biggest issue on Ontario roads. It has passed impaired driving as the number one reason of accidents occur. The government has set greater fines and penalties for drivers who are pulled over for distracted driving.

What is considered Distracted Driving?

Using your phone to do the following:

  • Talk
  • Text
  • Check maps
  • Choose a playlist

Other activities like

  • Eating
  • Reading or
  • Typing a destination into a GPS

It doesn’t matter if you’re on a highway or stopped at a red light. With the exception of a call to the police, fire department or emergency medical services personnel, a driver of a motor vehicle must be pulled off the roadway and not impeding traffic, or lawfully parked to use these hand-held devices.

Note : It is dangerous to stop on the shoulder of a 400-series highway and drivers are prohibited from pulling off a designated 400-series highway and parking for a reason other than an emergency. If the situation is not an emergency, drivers are advised to exit the freeway at an interchange or pull into the nearest service centre.

The existing fines and penalties for distracted driving will increase on January 1, 2019.

Drivers with A to G licences

If you have an A, B, C, D, E, F and/or G licence, starting January 1, 2019 you’ll face:

For your first conviction:

  • a fine of up to $1,000
  • three demerit points
  • a three-day day driver’s licence suspension

For your second conviction within 5 years:

  • a fine of up to $2,000
  • six demerit points
  • a seven-day driver’s licence suspension

For your third and all subsequent convictions within 5 years:

  • a fine of up to $3,000
  • six demerit points
  • a 30-day driver’s licence suspension

Novice drivers

Effective January 1, 2019, if you hold a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence, and are convicted of distracted driving, you’ll face the same escalating fines as drivers with A to G licences but you won’t receive any demerit points.

Instead of demerit points you’ll face:

  • a 30-day licence suspension for a first conviction
  • a 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction
  • cancellation of your licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System (GLS) for a third conviction


Info taken from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website