Ontario bans drivers' use of hand held cell phones
Ontario bans cell phone use while driving
Highway signs warning drivers in Ontario about yakking and driving are a common sight. That's because a new law banning cell phone use while driving will take effect October 26, 2009.
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario carried Bill 118, an amendment to
the Highway Traffic Act banning drivers from using handheld devices
with display screens while operating a vehicle on the road. The bill has
undergone several revisions during its consideration, but the new rules
of the road will be as follows:
Bill 118 prohibits drivers from using a wireless communication device (a cell phone) or a
portable electronic entertainment device (iPod) while driving.
There are several revisions on the bill. Commercial GPS units along with similar dashboard-mounted devices that provide gauges and displays relating to logistical or navigation uses are allowed.
The use of hands-free communication devices or cell phones using blue tooth are allowed.
Drivers using a cell phone or any communication device while pulled-over or parked in a way that is not disrupting traffic is not considered in violatiion of this new law.
Ambulances, Fire Departments, and Law Enforcement agencies using communication devices in line of duty are exempt.
The ban takes effect October 26, 2009 in Ontario and carries a fine of $500. Although demerit points are not included, police authorities have the option to issue careless driving charges and additional penalties
depending on the violation.