Canadians have differing ideas on what other kinds of distractions
should be considered criminal offenses.
TORONTO, March 18, 2014 /CNW/ - A new survey conducted by KANETIX.ca finds that 84 per cent of Canadians think texting while driving should
be a criminal offence, but we are more polarized on other distracted
This does not come as a surprise considering distracted driving
fatalities in Ontario surpassed both impaired driving-related and
speed-related fatalities last year, according to the Ontario Provincial
Police who are about to finish a distracted driving campaign ending
Distracted driving is not currently a criminal offence in Canada, but
penalties are beginning to become more stringent. If a driver is caught
using a handheld device such as a mobile phone a driver can be fined.
In Ontario, those fines are set to double as of March 18 to $280.
Depending on the nature of the offence, a driver could also potentially
be charged with careless driving, which may result in steeper fines,
license suspensions, and possibly jail time.
In all cases, these implications affect insurance rates.
"There are many habits that most drivers are guilty of that could have
severe consequences," says Sean Graham, principal broker at KANETIX.ca.
"For example, texting at a red light can result in a ticket fine of
$280, plus an insurance premium increase, which is typically an average
increase of $75 per year in Ontario. And this conviction stays on a
person's record for three years. Not to mention the possibility of an
accident because you are no longer paying attention to the road."
Although the fine increase only applies to hand held devices, phones are
not the only concern when it comes to distracted driving. Distracted
driving encompasses anything that takes a drivers focus off the
road—from changing a song on an iPod, to putting on lipstick, to paying
attention to a crying baby in the back seat.
While Canadians agreed that texting while driving should be a definite
criminal offence, the survey found that Canadians have differing ideas
on what other kinds of distractions should be considered criminal
offenses. Seventy-six per cent of those surveyed thought putting on
makeup while driving should also be a criminal offense, and while 58
per cent think that distracted driving should be a criminal offence in
general, only 33 per cent of Canadians were convinced of the dangers of
eating while driving, for example.
The survey was conducted from February 28, 2014 to March 3, 2014 with
Leger's online panel, LegerWeb Panel. The sample size was 1502 Canadian drivers 18 years of age and older. A
probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error
+/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
Launched in October 1999, KANETIX was Canada's first online insurance marketplace and today provides over
a million quotes per year to consumers looking for insurance, as well
as comparisons for mortgage rates and credit cards.
The KANETIX comparison service is a one-stop shopping environment for consumers.
Each day, thousands visit KANETIX.ca to comparison shop their various financial needs. Shoppers choose what
they want to compare, obtain a quotation and complete an online
application or, with the help of KANETIX connect with the provider to purchase or apply for the product over the
Through its Software as a Service team, KANETIX is also the leading provider of online insurance quotation technology,
developing online quotation systems, mobile solutions, actuarial tools
and websites for many of Canada's largest insurance brands.
Image with caption: "Canadians Weigh In On Distracted Driving as a Criminal Offence (CNW Group/Kanetix)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140318_C5522_PHOTO_EN_37990.jpg
For further information:
For more information, visit KANETIX.ca or contact:
416.599.9779 ext. 343