Sunday, August 02, 2009

Ontario Drivers' Cell Phone Ban Likely in Effect in October

Ontario's "no talking while driving" law will likely come into effect in October 2009, according to a July 27th report in Market News, an electronics industry journal that interviewed Jim Bradley, Ontario's Minister of Transportation:

It's official...maybe. Minister Jim Bradley says that the hands-free ban that was confirmed earlier this year for the province of Ontario will "likely" come into effect by October. Starting that month, drivers found chatting on a cell phone or operating a handheld wireless gadget in a car while driving could face hefty fines.

The month of October has been pegged as the likely date for the long-awaited ban to officially come into play, but a representative from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation confirms with Marketnews that while this is a likely scenario, it hasn't been 100% confirmed. Still, Minister Jim Bradley's statements have caused many to speculate that yes, October will be the month of reckoning.

While the use of handheld electronic devices will be strictly forbidden under Bill 118, motorists can still use hands-free accessories, like Bluetooth headsets and speakerphones. Drivers will also be allowed to depress the button requires to power up these units, like portable GPS devices, but no further manipulation of them while driving will be permitted. Fines can go as high as $500.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

UPDATE: October 1, 2009

The provincial government announced yesterday that the Ontario drivers' cell phone ban will come into effect October 26, 2009.

- Garry J. Wise

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