Sep 27, 2013
By Michael Kramer
A stern warning for drivers: do not hold your cellphone – even for a moment: it’s illegal.
That’s the ruling from a panel of Ontario Court of Appeal judges – who say it’s always against the Highway Traffic Act to hold a cell phone or mobile communications device for any amount of time while driving.
The judges reinstated the conviction of an Ontario woman who was found to have been holding a cell phone at a stop light – after it fell to the floor.
Today’s decision says having a cell phone or mobile device in one’s hand for a short period of time would still constitute “holding” it, and would still be seen as breaking the law.
The panel says, “A complete prohibition eliminates any risk of the driver being distracted by the information on the cell phone and removes any temptation to use the device while driving.”
Today’s ruling comes on the heels of reports suggesting the numbers of deaths resulting from collisions involving distracted driving are going up Canada-wide.