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N.W.T. adds licence suspensions to distracted driving legislation

Changes to N.W.T.'s distracted driving legislation received assent last week, including defining 'use' of a cell phone while driving to include holding, operating or touching the device and adding licence suspensions for repeat offenders.

No word yet on when changes will come into force

Changes to N.W.T.'s distracted driving legislation include adding licence suspensions for people caught using their cellphones while driving for the second, third and fourth time in a two-year period. (CBC)

N.W.T.'s distracted driving legislation will have tougher penalties after a bill making the changes received assent last week.

The definition of "use" of a restricted electronic device, such as a cellphone, while driving will now include holding, operating or touching the device.

People caught using their cellphones while driving for the second, third and fourth time in a two-year period can now have their licences suspended for 24 hours, seven days and 30 days, respectively.

The changes also create a specific offence for driving while using a restricted electronic device in a school or construction zone, which means fines can be set higher. 

There is no word yet on when these changes will come into force.

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