Since 2009, using hand-held devices while driving has been against the law in Ontario. Police began issuing tickets for the violation on February 1, 2010.
Individuals who are using hand-held devices may be ticketed and be required to pay a fine of $280. Individuals also have the option of going to court regarding the charges, but they then risk paying up to $500. Whatever option individuals choose, the hand-held device is not confiscated, and an individual will not receive a demerit on their license.
Penalties are higher if individuals endanger others while using a hand-held device. That can result in a jail term of up to six months and fines of up to $2,000 as well as six demerit points and a careless driving charge. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, the individual might also have their license suspended for up to two years and be charged with dangerous driving. This is a criminal offence.
The ministry is making an effort to educate people about the dangers of using hand-held devices while driving. This includes making an effort to reach younger drivers with brochures and posters distributed to schools.
An individual who has been injured in a car accident that results from the use of these types of devices may be able to bring a lawsuit against the individual responsible. It is generally necessary to prove driver negligence in these types of cases. Negligence as a driver is considered the failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care, and using a cell phone or other hand-held devices while driving might fall into that category. When pursuing such an action in court, it may be beneficial to receive advice from a personal injury lawyer.