The law banning drivers from using handheld devices while driving is now in force. Under Ontario’s new “Distracted Driving” law, it is illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices.
Using a hands-free device is permitted as long as the device is placed securely in or mounted to the car so that it does not move while the car is in motion and the driver can see it at a quick glance and easily reach it without adjusting his or her driving position. For example, it could be secured in a cell phone holster, placed in the vehicle’s cup holder, or fastened to the dashboard. It should not be sitting unsecured on the passenger seat.
Today marks the beginning of a 3-month “education period”, during which police officers will pull drivers over and remind them of the new law. On February 1, 2010, officers will begin ticketing drivers. The cost of a violation – up to $500 – will far outweigh the cost of buying an appropriate handsfree device.