Ontario’s Bill 118
Ontario’s Bill 118, an amendment to the Highway Traffic Act is now in effect and bans drivers from using handheld devices with display screens while operating a vehicle on the road. Here is a summary of the new rules:
• Holding or using a wireless communication device (a cell phone) or a portable electronic entertainment device (iPod) while driving is prohibited.
• Commercial GPS units along with similar dashboard-mounted devices that provide gauges and displays relating to logistical or navigation uses are permitted.
• Using a cell phone or wireless communication device in hands-free mode, as long as you’re not holding it during use, is permitted.
• Using any device while pulled-over or parked in a way that you are not disrupting traffic, is permitted.
• The systems used by Ambulances, Fire Departments, and Law Enforcement are exempt.
The ban is in effect as of September 1, 2009 and will carry a fine of $500. Demerit points will not be included but depending upon the violation, police will have the option to also use existing careless driving laws for additional penalties.
This bill has been passed for the safety and protection of all drivers on the road.