Ontario Cell Phone Ban Approved

Starting this fall it will be illegal to use hand-held cellphones and other electronic devices like BlackBerrys and global positioning systems while behind the wheel.

The Legislature unanimously passed the “distracted driving” law on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2009. However it will take a few more months before regulations are drawn up and a public education campaign is launched.

Fines can go up to $500, although they can be avoided if drivers use a cellphone headset and voice dialing

The government is looking at exemptions for communications devices which are used for dispatching, tracking and monitoring commercial drivers.

Emergency services vehicles will be exempt from the prohibition on talking, texting and emailing using hand-held devices. Calls made to 911 from motorists are also exempt.

The new law will also make it illegal for drivers to use hand-held entertainment devices, however an MP3 player that is plugged into a vehicles’ sound system is acceptable. GPS units are also acceptable if they are mounted on the dashboard.

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