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Ban on hand-held devices in force October 26

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.

Hands-free devices are permitted.  Employers should establish a cellphone use policy before October 26, and take appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of their employees and the public as well as their own business interests. For more on employer policy for cell phone ban read

Fines of up to $500 can be levied against distracted drivers who text, type, email, dial, or chat using a prohibited hand-held device. For more information, go to

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Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B. Managing Editor

Managing Editor at First Reference Inc.
Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., is a trained lawyer called to the Quebec bar in 1988 and is still a member in good standing. She practiced business, employment and labour law until 1999. For over 18 years, Yosie has been the Managing Editor of the following publications, Human Resources Advisor, Human Resources PolicyPro, HRinfodesk and Accessibility Standards PolicyPro from First Reference. Yosie is one of Canada’s best known and most respected HR authors, with an extensive background in employment and labour across the country. Read more
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One thought on “Ban on hand-held devices in force October 26
  • Samantha Howes says:

    As of yesterday, the law is in effect that no hand-held devices can be used in cars. Apparently police can use their discretion whether to warn a driver or ticket them for using a hand-held device while driving.
    So far this morning, I saw 8 drivers talking or texting on their morning commute. It seems that people are not taking this law seriously.

    I constantly see people swerving because they are staring at their blackberry screen and not paying attention to the road. One car almost drifted right into mine before the driver finally looked up and realized they were no longer in their lane.

    I wonder how many warnings, tickets, and accidents it is going to take for Ontarians to get the message?
    What’s more important? Getting that email or text message out, or making it to your destination safely?

    If you’re violating this law, it’s not just you that could get hurt. Everyone around you on the road is at risk. Do you want to be responsible for taking someone’s life because you had to reply to that text message?