On April 1st, new laws regarding the use of mobile phones while driving come to effect in Québec and Nova Scotia. This means that only hands-free devices will be permitted while driving, i.e. headset, Bluetooth or in-car units.
Such a law is already in effect in Newfoundland other provinces are considering similar legislation. In Québec, there is a three month grace period during which only warnings will be issued. Following that, fines ranging from $80 to $100 and 3 demerit points will be imposed. Note that the law also applies to motorists who are stopped at a traffic light or stop sign.In Nova Scotia, police will initially issue warnings but there is no formal grace period. The fines will range from $165 for the first offence, $222 for the second offence and $337 thereafter.This is an important opportunity to reiterate the principles of responsible driving for our employees, whether on company business or personal time.
While on the road, your primary focus should always be on driving. There are many potential distractions, including interacting with other passengers, using the stereo, eating, grooming, etc.
When using a mobile phone while driving:
- Avoid unnecessary calls and keep conversations brief
- Suspend conversations when driving conditions become hazardous
- Keep your eyes on the road and both hands on the steering wheel
- Never email or text message while driving
- Respect the law and use a hands-free device if required
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto