After hearing from multiple groups about the dangers of distracted driving, Quebec is ready to impose stringent penalties on those who use cellphones behind the wheel.

Government documents imply the provincial government is going to increase the fines for driving with a cellphone to somewhere between $300 and $400

Earlier this month a National Assembly committee heard from provincial police, the SAAQ, and several driver safety organizations which recommended increasing penalties for drivers who were not paying attention.

The current penalty for distracted driving, which includes holding a cell phone, is four demerit points and a fine of $80 to $100.

That would be in line with penalties in Ontario and British Columbia, where the fine for a first infraction totals $543.

But as the SAAQ noted, if fines are steep police are often reluctant to crack down on drivers and instead opt for some lesser fine.

That happened this week when Vancouver police stopped a driver who was listening to headphones and had a cell phone and a tablet tied to the steering wheel of his car.

He wasn't fined for distracted driving, but instead was given only an $81 ticket for not carrying his driver's licence.