Fines double from driving while using a handheld communication device
People convicted of using handheld communication devices while driving will face tougher penalties following recent amendments to Prince Edward Island’s Highway Safety Act.
The amendments increase the fine from between $250 and $500 to between $500 and $1,200. There is also an increase in demerit points. Violators will now receive five demerit points, up from three.
“Doctors see firsthand the results of distracted driving with collision victims in our emergency departments and legislation is yet another incentive to stay focused while driving,” said Dr. Jill Cunniffe, Medical Society of P.E.I. president. “Drivers need to remember to keep their eyes on the road or risk life-altering consequences.”
Changes to the graduated driver licensing regulations will mean any new drivers in this program will have their license suspended if convicted of operating a handheld communication device while driving. There will be a 30-day suspension for a first offence, and 90 days for any subsequent offence.
“It is sad to see collisions on our Island roads that could be prevented if drivers would understand the dangers of distracted and impaired driving,” said Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar. “Distracted driving is just as serious as impaired driving. Using a phone while driving is dangerous and deadly.”
Devices are cellular phones, BlackBerrys, iPhones, 10-4 phones, GPS systems or laptops.