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Distracted driver grace period doesn’t preclude fines: Police

The grace period around Ontario’s new distracted-driving law will savethe majority of cellphone clutching motorists from a ticket before Feb.1, but it doesn’t guarantee egregious cases will walk away scot-free inthe meantime.

The grace period around Ontario’s new distracted-driving law will save the majority of cellphone clutching motorists from a ticket before Feb. 1, but it doesn’t guarantee egregious cases will walk away scot-free in the meantime.

In rare cases, where a driver’s bad attitude or behaviour warrant a stern check, the motorist can be summoned to appear before a justice of the peace, who has the authority to level stiff fines, York Region Police said yesterday.

While most drivers caught using hand-held phones, texting or fiddling with their GPS or iPod after the new law becomes official Oct. 26, won’t get a ticket until Feb. 1, the message is out on force that drivers should immediately shift their focus to the road.

As York Region Police launched an awareness campaign Thursday in Richmond Hill, it was clear that many motorists either haven’t got the message or haven’t yet made the switch to hands-free devices.

Most of the drivers pulled over for a chat by officers on Yonge Street, near Highway 407, took a short talking-to in stride, well aware that they wouldn’t be getting a ticket.

Under the new law the maximum fine will be $500 but most tickets are expected to be about $100.

 
 
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