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  Distracted Driver's Bill Takes Effect February 1, 2010

Jan 27, 2010 14:31 ET

Durham Regional Police will be enforcing the new “distracted driver’s bill” effective February 1, 2010 and will be transitioning their educational three-month period into an enforcement mode.

In an effort to make Ontario roads safer, the Provincial Government passed Bill 118, commonly known as the distracted driver’s bill. This new law makes it illegal to use a cellphone and other electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle on a highway in Ontario. A three-month education period was extended to all drivers. This educational time period will end on Monday February 1, 2010.

Officers will ticket offenders under this new legislation for a fine of $150 to any driver found in contravention of the new law. Prohibitions under the new law include:

- hand-held wireless communication devices such as cellphones and BlackBerrys; hand-held electronic entertainment devices such as iPods; Playstation portables and Nintendo DS games,
- texting and emailing,
-programming directions or changing information on GPS devices,
-having display screens visible to the driver if they are unrelated to the driving tasks, such as DVD players and laptop computers.

This new law has provided exceptions for drivers to use hands-free communication devices with an earpiece; headset; speakerphone or Bluetooth. There is also an exception for calling 911 or if the driver has pulled off the roadway or stopped on the shoulder ensuring they are not impeding traffic.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of collisions on our roadways. All drivers are encouraged to abide by this law and not use these electronic devices while driving.

Roadway safety continues to be a top priority of the Durham Regional Police and as a result, the offences relating to distracted driving will be strictly enforced.

Below are attached files.
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