City News provides the details on legislation introduced today:
What would not be allowed while driving, unless the vehicle is pulled off the roadway or lawfully parked
- Hand-held wireless communications devices such as cell phones, smartphones and-held electronic entertainment devices such as iPods, or other portable MP3 players, or portable games
- Texting and emailing
- Viewing display screens on devices not required for driving such as a laptop or DVD player
What would be allowed while driving
- Hands-free wireless communications devices with an earpiece or Bluetooth device
- 911 calls
- Pressing the button of a hand-held device to activate hands-free mode for incoming or outbound calls
- GPS units mounted on dashboards
- Collision avoidance systems
Use by emergency services personnel such as police, fire and ambulance
- Logistical transportation tracking devices used for commercial vehicles
Under the proposed legislation, drivers who break the new rules could face fines of up to $500. And those who place others at risk as a result of using a hands-free device can be charged with Careless Driving and fines of up to $1,000, six demerit points, a driver's licence suspension and possible jail time.
I'm not sure this legislation will be terribly popular, but it is difficult to disagree with it.
For the full text of Bill 118 see: Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act, 2008.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto