Canada continues to crack down on distracted driving. All provinces and territories (aside from Nunavut) have some form of distracted driving-related legislation in place. And while the laws and penalties vary by province, the intent behind the legislation is the same: to encourage drivers to remain fully focused on the road while driving.
While safety is the paramount incentive to not drive distracted, there are fines, demerit points and auto insurance implications to consider as well. A distracted driving ticket, for example, will affect your insurance rates for no less than three years, and that's not including the fine for the ticket itself. Distracted driving laws in Canada vary by province, and the following chart outlines the penalties.
Distracted driving laws across Canada
Here's how distracted driving laws compare across the country.
|Province/Territory||Minimum Penalties||More Information|
|British Columbia||$543 fine and 4 demerit points||RoadSafetyBC|
|Alberta||$287 fine and 3 demerit points||Alberta Transportation|
|Saskatchewan||$280 fine and 4 demerit points||Saskatchewan Government Insurance|
|Manitoba||$200 fine and a shift five levels down the Driver Safety Rating scale||Manitoba Public Insurance|
|Ontario||$490 fine plus 3 demerit points||Ministry of Transportation|
|Quebec||$80 fine plus 4 demerit points||Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec|
|New Brunswick||$172.50 plus 3 demerit points||New Brunswick Public Safety|
|Nova Scotia||$233.95 fine plus 4 demerit points||Nova Scotia Road Safety|
|Prince Edward Island||$575 fine and 5 demerit points||PEI Highway Safety Division|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||$300 plus 4 demerit points||Government Services|
|Northwest Territories||$322 fine plus 3 demerit points||Department of Transportation|
|Yukon||$250 fine plus 3 demerit points||Highways and Public Works|
|Nunavut||N/A||There's nothing in force yet; however, it is expected that changes to the Traffic Safety Act will come into force in 2018 that would make it illegal to use a hand-held phone while driving.|