Toronto, Ontario — February 26, 2014 — The Ontario Court of Justice has increased the fine for motorists caught driving while using prohibited technological devices.
The Court’s Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo has signed an order to increase the set fine from $125 to $225; with surcharges the fine will rise to $280, and could further rise to $500 if drivers choose to fight the ticket.
It’s hoped the move will help deter drivers from using devices such as cell phones or other mobile devices while operating a vehicle. Anyone who endangers another’s life due to distracted driving could also be charged with careless driving, lose six demerit points and face a fine of up to $2,000. Additional penalities could also include six months jail time, license suspension for up to two years and criminal charges. Â Â
The increased fines go into effect on March 18, 2014, and do not apply to hands-free devices or in the event of lawful parking and emergency situations.Â
Google lobbies to ease regulations on Google Glass
Just as Toronto drivers prepare to face heavier fines for distracted driving, Google has begun lobbying efforts with government officials from at least three U.S. states proposing to place restrictions on the use of Google Glass.
Eight U.S. states in all are looking to regulate the use of Google’s wearable technology, which is a tiny computer screen mounted in the corner of an eyeglass frame. The company has sent lobbyists to Illinois, Delaware and Missouri to persurade each state’s elected officials to ease back on growing efforts to limit the use of extranenous technology by motorists.
The growing push for stricter regulations comes as concern from law enforcement and other interest groups for the safety of drivers is on the rise, with the worry being that drivers’ attention could be diverted away from the road anytime they receive an email.
Google, whose lobbyists have been charged with arguing that state regulations are unnecessary, believes any action against Google Glass would be premature as the $1,500 headwear is still in testing and is not widely available to consumers.Â
In addition to Illinois, Delaware and Missouri, bills aimed at regulating the use of wearable technologies by drivers have been introduced in the states of New York, Maryland, West Virginia, New Jersey and Wyoming. Â
In 2012 over 3,000 people died in the United States due to car accidents where mobile technology factored into the incident.