National NewsNew fines targeting distracted drivers take effect tomorrow; Deadly new opioid hits Ontario SHARE ON: James Bowler, contributor, Monday, Dec. 31st, 2018 Ontario kicks in new distracted driving penalties tomorrowChecking a text message while driving is about to get a lot more expensive. Ontario is kicking off harsh new penalties for distracted driving tomorrow. First-time offenders will get hit hard with a $1,000 fine, a three-day license suspension and three demerit points. And make sure you’ve completely sobered up after your New Year’s celebrations, because hefty new impaired driving fines are coming into effect as well.Carbon tax ready to start in 2019, leading to increase at the pumpsPrepare to pay more at the pump in 2019. Ottawa’s carbon tax program, replacing cap and trade in Ontario, is expected to take effect in the New Year. The tax is expected to increase gas prices by nearly five cents a litre, but the feds are attempting to offset that extra cost by paying back rebates to residents.Health Canada confirms deadly synthetic opioid discovered in OntarioHealth Canada is warning a deadly new version of opioid is now in Ontario. The synthetic drug, which is linked to overdose deaths around the globe, was discovered by police in Toronto earlier this month. The drug was identified a few times in the west earlier this year.Times Square secure and prepared for New Year’s Eve celebrationThere’s an added level of security hovering over New Year’s celebrations in Times Square. New York Police Department will be using a drone to keep an eye from the sky over Ryan Seacrest’s annual ‘Rockin’ Eve’. This is part of a security team that includes 7,000 officers, anti-terrorism teams, bomb sniffing dogs and blockades to stop vehicles from driving into the celebrating crowd.The most famous star of New Year’s Eve has successful run a dress rehearsal. The crystal ball in New York’s Times Square is prepared to properly ring in the New Year after a dry run on Sunday. The ball has generally been on time every year, except for 1995, when it was reportedly three seconds late.