MISSISSAUGA: The next time you are driving and decide to use your phone – think again, it’s illegal. Distracted driving is dangerous for all road users including pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, commuters, mobility device users, and other methods of active transportation.
The Distracted Driving law applies to the use of any handheld communications device and display screens like a phone, tablet, or gaming console.
The City, in partnership with the Road Safety Committee, has rolled out a campaign this September to remind Mississauga road users about the dangers of distracted driving.
“Too many drivers continue to be distracted on Mississauga roads. It only takes seconds to cause a life-altering crash that can impact you, your passenger and others on the road. Whether you’re setting a GPS route or talking and texting, using your phone isn’t worth it. Last year, Peel Police issued a total of 1,140 distracted driving tickets, 500 of which were in Mississauga,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
“Keeping our roads safe here in Mississauga is one of our top priorities. Any death or injury on roads is unacceptable. This campaign will help educate and ensure the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers and ensure they continue to move safely and freely around our city.”
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) reports that you’re four times more likely to have a crash when you’re distracted while driving and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) reports that one in three drivers in Ontario engages in distracted driving with a mobile device.
Research from the MTO, Traffic Injury Research Foundation, and CAA found that young drivers under the age of 44 are more engaged in distracted driving. Awareness of distracted driving is an important aspect of the Road Safety Committee’s 2020 goal to develop awareness and educate residents about road safety initiatives, programs and issues.
Ward 9 Councillor Pat Saito, Road Safety Committee Chair. said: “The statistics tell a story. They are staggering and we need to make our roads safer by sending a strong message to our residents that distracted driving is dangerous.”
The Committee has been driven by the Vision Zero Framework. The framework focuses on the prevention of fatalities and injuries due to collisions.
For a first distracted driving offense, you’ll receive a $615 fine up to $1,000, three demerit points, and a three-day license suspension. Second-time offenders will receive a minimum $615 fine up to $2,000, six demerit points, and a seven-day license suspension.