Bill 68 - Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Cellular Phones), 2006 sign now

Bill 68 - 2006 - An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act to prohibit the use of phones and other equipment while a person is driving on a highway

Note: This Act amends the Highway Traffic Act. For the legislative history of the Act, see Public Statutes - Detailed Legislative History on www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

1. Section 32 of the Highway Traffic Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Driving examinations

(14.1) The practical and written driving examinations mentioned in clause (14) (e) shall include an examination of the applicant's or holder's knowledge of

section 78.1 and the regulations relating to it.

2. The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Cellular phones and other equipment

78.1 (1) In this section,

"hands-free feature" means a feature that enables a person to fully operate a cellular phone, car phone, pager, personal data assistant, portable computer, fax machine or other equipment prescribed by the regulations without any manual manipulation and includes a voice activated or speaker system; ("commandes mains-libres")

"novice driver" means a novice driver as defined in the regulations made under section 57.1; ("conducteur dйbutant")

"unlawful act" includes, but is not limited to, careless or impaired driving. ("acte illicite")

Prohibition

(2) No person shall use a cellular phone, car phone, pager, personal data assistant, portable computer, fax machine or other equipment prescribed by the regulations while driving a motor vehicle on a highway.

Exceptions

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to,

(a) a person who is not a novice driver while the person is driving a fire department vehicle, an ambulance or a public vehicle;

(b) a police officer who is not a novice driver while the person is driving a motor vehicle while in the lawful performance of the person's duties as a

police officer; or

(c) a person prescribed by the regulations who uses equipment prescribed by the regulations in circumstances prescribed by the regulations.

Same

(4) Nothing in subsection (2) prevents a person who is not a novice driver from,

(a) 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;

or

(b) using equipment listed in that subsection, if the person uses a hands-free feature to operate the equipment and does not use a listening device that

covers or provides sound to both ears.

Report on accident

(5) 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 possibility that the use of a cellular phone, car phone, pager, personal data assistant, portable computer, fax machine or other equipment prescribed by the regulations contributed to causing the accident, the Registrar shall mention that possibility in the report to the Minister under clause 205 (1) (e).

Regulations

(6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing anything that is described in subsection (2), (3) or (5) as being prescribed by the regulations.

Legislative review

(7) A committee of the Legislative Assembly shall,

(a) no earlier than two years and no later than three years after this section comes into force, begin a comprehensive review of this section, the regulations made under it and the operation in practice of this section and those regulations; and

(b) within one year after beginning that review, make recommendations to the Assembly concerning amendments to this section and the regulations made under it.

Definition

(8) In subsection (7),

"year" means a period of 365 consecutive days or, if the period includes February 29, 366 consecutive days.

Commencement

3. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

4. The short title of this Act is the Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Cellular Phones), 2006.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill amends the Highway Traffic Act to prohibit the use of a cellular phone, car phone, pager, personal data assistant, portable computer, fax machine or

other equipment prescribed by the regulations made under the Act while a person is driving a motor vehicle. There are exceptions for cases like emergencies,

cases where a driver who is not a novice driver as defined in the regulation on drivers' licences uses the equipment entirely through a hands-free feature

and other cases prescribed by the regulations made under the Act.

The Registrar is required to report cases where the use of a cellular phone, car phone, pager, personal data assistant, portable computer, fax machine or

other equipment prescribed by the regulations made under the Act may have contributed to causing a motor vehicle accident.

Drivers' licence examinations are required to include a portion testing the applicant's knowledge of the amendments made by the Bill.

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Julianne NixonBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
Petition target:
Ontario Legislature

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