Driving while using a mobile device

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On February 1, 2010, police began issuing tickets for using hand-held cell phones and communications and entertainment devices while driving in Ontario. Drivers caught using a hand-held device will be issued a $155 ticket and demerit points.

The distracted driving law makes it illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices. Hands-free use of these devices is permitted. The new law also prohibits the viewing of display screens unrelated to driving such as laptop computers or DVD players.

Police, paramedics and firefighters, as well as some commercial drivers and public service workers may continue to use certain hand-held devices when performing their duties. All drivers may use hand-held devices to call 9-1-1.

Studies show that a driver using a cell phone is four times more likely to be in a crash than a driver focused on the road. Dialing and texting carry the highest degree of risk of all cell phone-related activities.

The evidence speaks for itself: drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a collision than a driver who is focused on the road. Using a hands-free device is permitted as long as the device is placed securely in or mounted to the motor vehicle so that it does not move while the vehicle is in motion. The driver should be able to 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.

Case Study: John Reposa
After being charged with driving using a handheld communication device our client faced loosing his license due to accumulation of demerit points and probation with the Ministry of Transportation. This charge cannot be pleaded down. We defended our client to a not guilty verdict and he was able to keep his license.

On February 1, 2010, police began issuing tickets for using hand-held cell phones and communications and entertainment devices while driving in Ontario. Drivers caught using a hand-held device will be issued a $155 ticket and demerit points.