Operating a motor vehicle for work is more than driving a truck, cab or ambulance. Anyone driving from home to a location different from their usual workplace, or travelling for work, is usually “in the course of employment” under workers’ compensation law. Thus distracted driving is very much an employer responsibility and risk.
The Ontario Court of Appeal has recently ruled on the issue of distracted driving caused by “holding” handheld devices in two companion decisions: R. v. Kazemi 2013 ONCA 585 and R. v. Pizzurro, 2013 ONCA 584. In both cases, the Court of Appeal has strictly interpreted the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (“HTA”) to mean that holding a handheld device while driving constitutes a breach of the statute because it results in distracted driving that should be avoided at all costs.
It seems that the majority of respondents to our recent HRinfodesk poll believe that they do need a cellphone policy. Last September we asked you: Does your company have a cellphone policy? 289 (61.75 percent) respondents out of 468 said they do; 163 (34.83 percent) respondents indicated they did not have a cellphone policy; and 16 believed they did not need one. So do you need one or not?