Transport Minister Marc Garneau calls for tough national standard for distracted drivers using cellphones

Transport Minister Marc Garneau calls for tough national standard for distracted drivers using cellphones

MONTREAL — Transport Minister Marc Garneau is proposing the creation of a tough national standard to penalize distracted drivers using their cellphones on the road.

While dangerous driving is covered under the Criminal Code, cases involving distraction are a provincial responsibility that result in fines and demerit points that vary widely across regions.

Garneau last week sent a letter to his provincial counterparts calling for stiffer penalties for texting and talking on cellphones while driving.

The minister has yet to get a response from provinces. But he says governments need to act more quickly to this growing issue than it did in the past to combat drunk driving.

He declined to say if he would like to see cars taken away from drivers found guilty of distracted driving but says stricter standards are required.

The Canadian Press

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