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It used to be that speeding tickets were the main concern for drivers. Times have changed, and with the rise in popularity of mobile devices we have new concerns on the road. Distracted motorists using their hand held devices have caused more accidents, because of this laws regarding their use have tightened. In Quebec, using a hand held device while driving has been prohibited since April 2008.
In line with new stats released by Quebec's provincial police force's analysis of the state of traffic safety for 2011, the number of violations for texting or using the phone while driving still seem to be a concern. Our attachments to our phones are still creating road safety hazards, and despite the strict laws which prohibit the use of a hand held device while driving, the information indicates people are still texting, talking and driving using handheld devices.
The law is pretty specific, even if the person is not using the phone, simply having it in their hand is reason to get a ticket.
The big question some people have is:
Does this affect my insurance rate?
Insurance companies have not come up with "Mobile phone use discounts" but what many do have is a "Conviction Free" or "Safe driving" discount.
This type of discount reduces your car insurance premiums. If you are no longer eligible, it can be removed.
So although we can not say we have a specific penalty for people who use mobile phones while driving, in a round about way, you risk being penalized because to have a violation in your driving record for any kind of ticket or conviction (barring a parking ticket) you lose the discount and your rates go up.
Besides an increase in insurance rate, you could also see higher premiums for renewing your drivers license - since the SAAQ also takes into account your driving record when determining your renewal rate.
So overall, when you look at the big picture, you will not only have to pay the ticket you get for driving while using a handheld device, you may also lose demerit points off your license, pay more for your license renewal and if you had a conviction free or safe driving discount before, you will see your insurance rate go up too.
Focusing on the road while driving and using the hands-free device in your car makes a lot more dollars and "sense" not only for your safety and those of others, but for your bank account too. Don't pay more than you have to, be safe and hands- free.
Have you been stopped for using your mobile phone? What do you think of the law, leave a comment and join the conversation!