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New rules that will mean automatic driver’s licence suspension for convicted distracted drivers in Ontario will soon take effect after receiving Royal Assent, 680NEWS has learned.

“The law has been passed — it’s now just a matter of time,” Toronto police Const. Clint Stibbe told 680 NEWS on Monday.

“You the driver has to decide, is answering that text message or making that phone call going to be worth it when you can’t buy your way out of this anymore. You will receive a licence suspension and you will receive a substantial fine.”

The fines for distracted driving would increase from a maximum of $1,000 to up to $2,000 on a second conviction and up to $3,000 for third or subsequent incidents, as well as six demerit points for multiple offences.

Offenders would also see their licence suspended for three days on a first offence, seven days after two convictions, and 30 days for third and further convictions.

However, officers won’t be able to seize a driver’s licence at roadside. A judge would have to order it suspended only after the driver is found guilty.

Based on preliminary data from 2016, distracted driving was to blame for 7,435 crashes in Toronto. Of those collisions, eight were fatal, 2,642 resulted in injury and 4,785 caused property damage. CityNews.ca

Why Fight Your Traffic Ticket?

Paying a fine and pleading guilty to a traffic ticket can have many more consequences than a hefty fine amount. Most traffic tickets have demerit points and as little as one conviction can increase your insurance rates.

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Tickets and fines are handled by municipally-run courts. Common offences include:

Excessive noise
Speeding
Driving without a permit
Disobeying traffic signs
Parking infractions
Not having proof of insurance
Public intoxication
Trespassing.

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Commercial vehicle operators in Ontario must have a valid Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR) certificate and carry a copy. The CVOR system monitors commercial carrier safety to improve road safety for all road users.
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