Posted by: rbmcarriers | August 1, 2008

Ontario to Ban Cell Phones while Driving

Now the police will have one more item on their agenda while cruising the street this fall.  Here in Ontario, we all knew that it was only a matter of time before the government passed yet another bill that will affect drivers.  You better look into purchasing a “hands free” cell phone otherwise you may end up with a fine – just what you need!!

Today’s Trucking has made some very valuable points on this topic posted below.

And the ban plays on

The list of provinces where you can drive while talking on your hand-held cell is getting shorter and shorter.

This week, the Ontario government announced a plan to ban cell phones and other “electronic distractions.” The new law will probably be introduced this fall.

Others who have already forced drivers to put down their phones include Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Quebec’s grace period for enforcing the law expiring this month, and police have handed out more than 1,000 tickets already. First-time fines run up as high as $115.

On the Rock, if a driver’s caught talking into a cell he might also wind up walking into one. You might actually get thrown into the slammer in that province.

In Ontario’s case, the announcement was made yesterday by Transportation Minister Jim Bradley and he said the ban would apply to “electronic distractions,” which implies it could include other telematic devices like things like GPS or DVD monitors.

Is there any evidence between cellphone usage and road accidents?

Cellphone use in vehicles is banned, to one degree or another, in more than 50 countries, including Australia, Britain and France.

Ontario has already banned new drivers from using cellphones when they’re behind the wheel. But two big questions remain.

First, will truckers be told to stop using CBs or push-talk devices like Mikes, as in Quebec?

Our request to the MTO for the answer to that one remains on hold but stay tuned for the results.

Second Question: Has anybody ever found an accurate statistical link between cellphone usage and road accidents? Not to our knowledge.

Recently, the Alberta government released the results of a study that said cellphone use while driving has less risk than many other acceptable distractions including eating or tending to children in the back seat. Other reports in jurisdictions like New York — which has had a cellphone ban for a few years — arrived at similar conclusions.

As if that’s going to stop the politicians.

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