September 21, 2017 7:04 am

Bill Kelly: Tougher distracted driving laws are long overdue

A man checks his cellphone while driving.

File Photo

Finally, the Ontario government is going to lower the boom on distracted drivers.

The problem has reached epidemic proportions; in fact, distracted driving is far and away the leading cause of motor vehicle crashes and fatalities.

I’ve always maintained that the current penalties for distracted driving hardly amounted to a slap on the wrist for someone who chooses to ignore the law and put lives in danger, but that’s about to change.

READ MORE: Distracted driving causes more crashes in Ontario than intoxication, speeding: OPP

Under the new law, a motorist convicted of a proposed new offence of careless driving causing death or bodily harm, faces a fine of $2,000 to $50,000, imprisonment of up to two years, a licence suspension of up to five years and a loss of six demerit points.

WATCH: Ontario to introduce $50K fine for distracted driving causing death

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On top of that, those caught using a hand-held cellphone will be hit with a fine ranging from $500 to $3,000, depending on whether it’s a first or second or third offense, and yes, police tell me that there are plenty of repeat offenders.

Of course, some people will complain that the new penalties are too severe, but tell that to the families of victims who have been killed or severely injured by distracted drivers.

It’s all about making our roads safer.

Besides, if you don’t want to pay the fine, don’t do the crime.

Bill Kelly is the host of Bill Kelly Show on AM 900 CHML and a commentator for Global News.

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