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Ontario boosting penalties for careless and distracted drivers

TORONTO — Ontario is planning to fine careless drivers who cause death up to $50,000.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced today that the Liberal government will introduce legislation this fall that would help crack down on careless and distracted driving.

A new offence for careless driving causing death or bodily harm would lead to a licence suspension of up to five years, fines of between $2,000 and $50,000, up to two years of jail time and six demerit points.

As well, 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.

Novice drivers — those with a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence — convicted of three or more distracted driving offences would see their licence cancelled.

Del Duca says Ontario would have the toughest penalties for repeated distracted driving offences in Canada.

Drivers who don’t yield to pedestrians would also see increased fines under the legislation from a current maximum of $500 up to $1,000.

One person is killed on Ontario’s roads every 17 hours, the government said.

The Canadian Press

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