Distracted Driving – Hands an the wheel – Eyes on the road

There are many things that can distract us while driving. One of the top distractions is hand held cell phones. On April 1, 2008, Nova Scotia took a step forward in preventing driver distraction with a ban on hand held cell phone use while driving. Currently, Nunavut is the only place in Canada that does not have a ban on hand held devices.

Hand-Held Cell Phone Legislation in Canada

Province Fine Demerits Into Effect
British Columbia $167 3 February 2010*
Alberta $172 None September 2011
Saskatchewan $280 4 January 2010
Manitoba $200 None July 2010
Ontario $155 None October 2009*
Quebec $115 – $154 3 April 2008
Newfoundland and Labrador $100 – $400 currently 4 April 2003
Prince Edward Island $250-$400 3 January 2010
Nova Scotia $164 first offence; $222 second offence;$337 subsequent offences None April 2008
New Brunswick $172.50 3 June 2011
Yukon $250 3 April 2011
Northwest Territories $100 3 January 2012
Nunavut     Nothing at this time
*In addition to banning hand-held communication devices, British Columbia and Ontario also ban the use of hand-held electronic entertainment devices while driving.
  • British Columbia and Saskatchewan prohibit GDL drivers from using both hand-held and hands-free devices.
  • No Canadian jurisdiction bans ALL drivers from using hands-free cell phones while driving.

Source: Transportation Canada, CAA

Update: March 18, 2014

Under proposed legislation, Ontario would see drivers receive three demerit points on conviction for a distracted driving offence, while also allowing judges to fine an offender between $300 and $1,000. That’s up from a current fine range of $60 to $500.

Ontario Legislation Proposes Fine Hike