Monday, December 14, 2009

Go Hands-Free or Face a Fine

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 Oct. 26, a new law was introduced, stating that driving while using a handheld device is now illegal in Ontario.

Hopefully you've put down that mobile and hooked on that new Bluetooth device folks. If not, be prepared to face the consequences.

If you're more daring than myself, and have continued to chat while cruising, there are penalties; drivers guilty of droning on while driving could face:

• $500 fines

• demerit points; and

• suspended licenses

The Ontario government said there is a three month leniency period, but once that's finished in January, the rules will be enforced to full effect.

When I moved to Ontario a few months ago, I was surprised to learn cell phone use while driving was still legal. 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. Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams was caught driving while talking on his cell phone. Probably not the smartest move for someone in the public eye, supposed to be upholding the law.

Have you broken this new law since it came into effect and had a chat on your mobile while driving? Or have you seen others being pulled over by the police? Do you think there's a real need for this new law?

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