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Driver watching YouTube videos rolls through RIDE program

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FROM A DECEMBER 24 WEST GREY POLICE MEDIA RELEASE — On the Monday December 23, West Grey Police officers were conducting a RIDE program at the intersection of Durham Road East and Garafraxa Street North. Officers were met by a 60 year old Kitchener man who drove through the RIDE program while watching a YouTube video on his cellular phone. The driver was pulled over and was issued an offence notice for Drive – Display Screen Visible to Driver contrary to section 78(1) of the Highway Traffic Act.

Distracted driving is not just about cell phones. GPS units, Smartwatches, Tablets and Laptops all lead to driver inattention.  Until 2015, the maximum fine for distracted driving in Ontario was $500. On January 1, 2018, the Ontario government changed the Highway Traffic Act raising the maximum fine for distracted driving to $1000 on a first offence and added a three-day licence suspension upon conviction of a first offence.

Drivers who continue to contravene this section of the law face a seven day licence suspension upon conviction of a second offence and repeat offenders with more than two distracted driving charges face 30-day suspensions of their driver’s licence. Drivers with a class G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence, who are convicted of distracted driving or driving with a hand held device receive the same fine as A to G drivers as well as a 30-day licence suspension for a first conviction, a 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction and cancellation of your licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System for a third conviction.

People who engage in distracted driving may be charged with:

  • Section 78(1) Highway Traffic Act (HTA) – Drive – Display screen visible to driver;
  • Section 78.1(1) HTA – Drive – Hand-held communication device;
  • Section 78.1(2) HTA – Drive – Hand-held entertainment device.

“When driving, you are in control and share a responsibility for road safety. Distracted driving is not only hazardous to you, it endangers your passengers and everyone on and around the roadways. A driver who checks a text message for five seconds while travelling at 90 km/h is the equivalent to having driven the length of a football field while you were blindfolded. We want everyone to enjoy a safe holiday season so keep your eyes on the road and keep your mind on the task of driving.” says Chief Robert Martin of the West Grey Police Service.


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Updated March 12, 2020.

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