Monday, December 14, 2009

Go Hands Free or Face a Hefty Fine: No More Cell Phones while Driving!

Is your Blackberry permanently attached to your hand? Have you been texting your way through traffic? You might want to think twice the next time you dial and drive; on October 26 a new law was introduced, stating that driving while using a handheld device is now illegal in Ontario. Put down your mobile and hook on that new Bluetooth device folks, or prepare to face the consequences.

If you're a bit more daring than myself, and will continue to chat while cruising, you should be aware of the penalties: Drivers guilty of droning on while driving could face up to $500 fines, demerit points, and even suspended licenses. The Ontario government has said there will be a three month leniency period, but after that, the rules will be enforced to full effect.

Coming from a province where this law has been in effect for over six years, I was surprised to learn when I moved to Ontario two months ago that people were still allowed to talk on their cell phones while driving. Newfoundland and Labrador passed this law back in 2003, and it has been fairly successful. There have been some who have broken the law however, like Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams, who was caught driving while talking on his cell phone.

What are your thoughts? Have you broken this new law since it came into effect and had a chat on your mobile while driving, or seen others being pulled over by the police? Do you think there's a real need for this new law? I'd love to hear some of your thoughts, so feel free to leave a comment!

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