On January 1, 2010, drivers were prohibited from using electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle unless specifically permitted by the law. “Electronic devices” include cell phones, computers, BlackBerry’s and other PDA’s, MP3’s, navigation devices, televisions and any other electronic information or entertainment services or equipment. There are also rules governing the use of hand held devices in (stationary) vehicles, hands free devices, and other devices that require ear phones. On February 1st, fines for the breach of these new rules go into effect. Anyone caught:
- typing, texting or dialing a hand held device will be fined $167 and assessed 3 penalty points,
- talking on a hand held device will be fined $167, and
- using any hand held or hands free devices will be fined $167 and assessed 3 penalty points if they are enrolled in a Graduated Licensed Program.
Employers who require their employees to drive during the course of their employment should have policies in place which clearly sets out rules employees should abide by, both for safety reasons and in order to comply with the new laws. Further employees should understand that employees alone will be responsible for any fines assessed under the new regulations. Clark Wilson’s Labour & Employment Group can assist employers to draft such policies.