Toronto, Ontario – The Ontario government is proposing a ban on the use of hand-held devices to talk, text or email while driving. Under the bill, police would be able to charge drivers who use a hand-held cell phone, send email or text messages, or use other hand-held electronic devices while driving.
The use of hands-free devices would be permitted, as would be emergency calls such as 911.
Transport Canada estimates that driver distraction is a contributing factor in about 20 per cent of all collisions, and that drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a crash than a driver who is focused on the road.
Under the proposed legislation, drivers in violation could face fines of up to $500. The proposed legislation would bring Ontario in line with similar laws in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, several U.S. states, and about 50 countries worldwide.