Costly dis­trac­tions

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

BY STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON

Staff The prov­ince will be­gin im­pos­ing harsher penal­ties on mo­torists charged with dis­tracted driving, ef­fec­tive Jan. 1, 2019.

“When driving, you are not per­mit­ted to use hand-held com­mu­ni­ca­tion and en­ter­tain­ment de­vices or view dis­play screens un­re­lated to the driving task,” ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion’s web­site.

That means that mo­torists can only use de­vices that they don’t touch or ma­nip­u­late while driving. So if you’re talking on a cell phone, you must be us­ing an ear­piece, head­set, or blue tooth de­vice. If you are us­ing a GPS, it must be mounted on the dash­board or wind­shield. You are not al­lowed to in­put in­for­ma­tion while driving.

In­deed, the web­site even warns mo­torists that they can’t use such de­vices when stopped at a traffic light. The only ex­cep­tion is to call po­lice, the fire depart­ment, or other emergency ser­vices.

If you ab­so­lutely must use such a de­vice, you are re­quired to pull off the road­way and “law­fully” park some­where. Also, the min­istry re­minds you that you are forbidden from pulling onto the shoul­der of a 400-se­ries high­way for any rea­son that is not an emergency.

“If the sit­u­a­tion is not an emergency, driv­ers are ad­vised to exit the free­way at an in­ter­change or pull into the near­est ser­vice cen­tre,” says the min­istry.

For most driv­ers, a first con­vic­tion will get you three de­merit points, a three-day li­cence sus­pen­sion, and a fine of up to $1,000.

A sec­ond con­vic­tion will get you six de­mer­its, a seven-day sus­pen­sion, and a fine of up to $2,000. Fur­ther con­vic­tions will get you another six de­mer­its, a 30-day sus­pen­sion, and fines up to $3,000.

For novice driv­ers, there will be no de­mer­its but you could get a 30day sus­pen­sion for a first of­fence.

STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON PHOTO

FREE PIZZA: Adam Klu­ver, far right, new owner of the Lan­caster Pizze­ria, was hand­ing out free pizza slices on Satur­day af­ter­noon be­fore Lan­caster’s Santa Claus Pa­rade. He is shown with Lan­caster res­i­dent Laura MacKenzie and South Glen­garry’s in­com­ing Deputy-Mayor, Lyle War­den.

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