Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Increased Penalties for Handheld Devices and Display Screens

Primrose, ON (OPP - Dufferin Detachment)

Effective March 18th, 2014

No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other device that is capable of receiving, transmitting telephone communication, electronic data, mail or text messages.

This means the driver of a motor vehicle cannot talk, text, read or listen to messages while holding the device in his/her hand. The device must be secured to the car by some means or wireless technology is used. GPS units or entertainment devices such as an i-Pod must also be securely mounted.

Once mounted and properly secured all devices may be used, however, no programming of the device is allowed. You cannot answer your phone and then pull over.

You can use your device when….

1) The motor vehicle is off the roadway or is lawfully parked on the roadway.
This does not mean that you are stopped at the traffic lights or stop sign or in heavy traffic.
2) The motor vehicle is not in motion.
3) The motor vehicle is not impeding traffic - e.g.; you pull off the road and stop on the soft shoulder.

Fine Structure:

The set fines for the offences are $225.00 plus victim surcharge and court costs. The total payable amount is $280.00 for each of the following offences under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario effective March 18th, 2014:

Drive motor vehicle - display screen visible to driver
Drive motor vehicle - hand-held communication device
Drive motor vehicle - hand-held communication device