McGuinty Government Making Ontario's Roads Safer
Ontario's ban on hand-held devices while driving will take effect on October 26, 2009.The new law will make it illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices.
Following a three-month period that begins October 26, where the focus will be on educating drivers, police will start issuing tickets on February 1, 2010.
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. Other studies show that dialing and texting carries the highest degree of risk of all cell phone-related activities. Police, paramedics and firefighters will continue to be allowed to use hand-held devices when performing their duties. All drivers may use hand-held devices to call 9-1-1.
Under Ontario's new law, fines of up to $500 can be levied against distracted drivers who text, type, email, dial, or chat using a prohibited hand-held device.
Ontario joins more than 50 countries worldwide and a growing number of North American jurisdictions that have similar distracted driving legislation including Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, California and New York.
Teens and young people under 35 are the most frequent users of cell phones while driving.
Read more about Ontario's new road rules for the use of wireless communication and electronic entertainment devices while driving, including exemptions.
Review key research on the effects of driving while distracted.
Read scenarios that show how drivers can make a few simple changes to comply with the new law.
Find out more about the Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act, 2009.
Bob NicholsCommunications Branch 416-327-1158Bob.Nichols@nullontario.ca
Nicole Lippa-GasparroMinister's Office416-327-1815 Nicole.Lippa-Gasparro@nullontario.ca
Ministry of Transportationontario.ca/transportation
"It is not safe to be texting, e-mailing or dialing a phone when you are driving a vehicle. Now it is also illegal."
– Jim BradleyMinister of Transportation