An Act to amend
the Highway Traffic Act
to prohibit the use of phones
and other equipment
while driving on a highway
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1.The Highway Traffic Act is amended by adding the following section:
Prohibition, cellular phones etc.
78.1 (1)No person shall use a cellular phone or car phone, a portable computer or a fax machine while driving a motor vehicle on a highway.
(2)Subsection (1) does not apply to,
(a)a fire department vehicle;
(b)a motor vehicle while used by a person in the lawful performance of his or her duties as a police officer;
(c)an ambulance; or
(d)a public vehicle.
(3)Subsection (1) does not apply if the person is using a cellular phone or car phone to report an emergency, a traffic accident, an unlawful act or unsafe road conditions to the appropriate authorities.
(4)In subsection (3), "
unlawful act" includes, but is not limited to, careless or impaired driving.
Use of equipment with hands-free feature permitted
(5)Despite subsection (1), a person may use equipment listed in subsection (1), if the person uses a hands-free feature to operate the equipment and does not use a listening device, which covers or provides sound to both ears.
(6)In subsection (5), "
hands-free feature" means a feature which enables a person to fully operate a cellular phone or car phone, a portable computer or a fax machine without any manual manipulation and includes a voice activated or speaker system.
Collection and reporting of information on role of cellular phones, etc., in accidents
(7)If an investigation by the Registrar of a motor vehicle accident under clause 205 (1) (b) or a record kept under subclause 205 (1) (c) (i) suggests the use of a cellular phone or car phone, a portable computer or a fax machine played a role in the cause of an accident, the Registrar shall include such information in his or her report to the Minister under clause 205 (1) (e).
2.This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
3.The short title of this Act is the Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Cellular Phones), 2000.
The Bill adds a section to Part VI of the Highway Traffic Act to prohibit the use of a cellular phone or car phone, portable computer or fax machine while driving a vehicle. Specific exceptions are provided for cases like emergencies. The Bill also permits the use of phones, portable computers and fax machines while driving a motor vehicle, as long as the equipment is fully operated through a hand-free feature. The Bill goes on to require the Registrar to compile data on accidents where the use of a phone, portable computer or fax machine played a role in the accident.