Distracted driving is more than just using cell phones for calls or texting. It can include any activity that distracts the driver from safely operating their vehicle such as:
- watching videos and using other electronic devices
- eating and/or drinking
- pets or animals
- children or passengers
- personal grooming
Distracted driving has become a growing concern with the advancement of technology. It recently beat Drinking and Driving as the number one cause of motor vehicle collisions.
The Hamilton Strategic Road Safety Committee is comprised of members from the City of Hamilton’s Public Works and Public Health Services departments and Hamilton Police Services.
Penalties for Distracted Driving
Did you know that with the passing of Ontario's Bill 31 - Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act the penalties associated with distracted driving have increased?
- Fines are $300 to $1000
- You will lose three demerit points if you are convicted of a distracted driving offense
- Young and novice drivers convicted of any Graduated Licensing System violation are subject to:
- Minimum 30 day licence suspension for a first offence
- 90 day licence suspension for a second conviction
- Third and subsequent instances can lead to the cancellation of their driver’s licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System
- Nearly 8 in 10 drivers admit to doing something while driving that is distracting. Among the most dangerous distractions are in-vehicle technologies, like a driver’s phone, a car’s console, or voice-activated features (CAA.ca).
- Based on observations made by Hamilton police officers, in 18.4 per cent of all collisions and in 19.1 per cent of fatal and injury collisions in Hamilton, drivers were inattentive (distracted) in 2017–2021.
- Distracted driving related collisions have increased by 2.4 per cent compared with 2016–2020 collision data.
- Hamilton Police Services suggest that the actual percentage of distracted driving collisions is likely higher because it’s difficult to identify whether the driver, cyclist or pedestrian was distracted.
- In 2021, Hamilton Police Services issued 240 tickets related to distracted driving, and so far in 2022 have issued 123 tickets.