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OTA calls for tougher penalties for distracted driving


TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) applauded today’s announcement by Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, who called for increased fines and sanctions to help elevate pedestrian and cyclist safety and tougher penalties for distracted drivers.

“Raising current fines and sanctions is a positive first step, but the OTA would like to continue working with all levels of government, other road user stakeholders and technology providers to explore multiple areas that could improve safety for vulnerable road users,” said OTA president Stephen Laskowski.

It is expected that the Province of Ontario will double fines for failure to yield – from the current range of $15-$500 to upwards of $1000.

Also part of today’s announcement were tougher penalties for distracted driving, such as using a cellphone while operating a vehicle, including higher fines, more demerit points, and licence suspensions. The government is proposing increasing fines fir first offences from $500 to $1000 and as much as $2,000 and $3,000 for second and subsequent offences, which will also carry a penalty of six demit points.

Furthermore, OTA continues to work with the ministry to extend the exemption that allows commercial drivers to use hand-held two-way CB radios.

“Distracted driving is something the trucking industry is already addressing. Many transportation companies have policies in place to monitor and restrict distracted driving behavior,” said Laskowski.


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