HSAD instructor Marta Scythes hopes to develop a clinical trial at Kingston's Providence Care hospital based off of research from her thesis at OCAD University. /ROBERT MACKENZIE Staff

Updated distracted driving laws in effect

Published Jan. 15 2019

As of Jan. 1 penalties for driving with a handheld wireless communication device such as a cellphone have increased for drivers in Ontario.

The new penalty: fines up to $1000; three demerit points for first offence; three-day licence suspension; penalties rise for subsequent convictions.

Novice drivers will receive the same fines but will receive longer suspensions rather than demerit points. Details can be found at ontario.ca/distracted-driving.

Distracted driving doesn’t just involve a phone. It includes anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the vehicle including taking your eyes off the road taking your hands off the wheel and taking your mind off what you’re doing.

You could be charged with careless driving if you cause a collision or exhibit very poor driving directly related to being inattentive for example eating while driving reading a map while driving etc.

The fines and demerit points for careless driving are unchanged.