Highway traffic act
Ontario’s ban on hand-held devices while driving will take effect on October 26, 2009. It will be illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices. There will be a three month transition period for enforcement where the focus will be on educating drivers; police will start issuing tickets on February 1, 2010.
I was recently made aware that the Ontario and Manitoba Trucking Associations are trying to convince regulators in their respective provinces to exempt CB radios and certain communication devices used specifically by truck drivers for dispatch and business-related purposes from the provincial bans on cellphone use and texting while driving that are to come into force this fall.
An increasing number of studies show that driving while talking on a cellphone can be dangerously distracting. Some studies state that talking on a cellphone while driving makes a person four times more likely to be in a crash. This is a much higher risk than most other distracting activities. As a result, the governments of Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia have announced that they will draft legislation this fall to ban the use of hand-held electronic devices (such as cellphones) to talk or text while driving a vehicle; joining the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, who have banned or are in the process of banning the use of hand-held wireless devices while driving this fall.