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Ban On Hand-Held Devices Starts In October

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Ban On Hand-Held Devices Starts In October

McGuinty Government Making Ontario's Roads Safer

Ministry of Transportation

Ontario's ban on hand-held devices while driving will take effect on October 26, 2009.

The new law will make it illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices.

Following a three-month period that begins October 26, where the focus will be on educating drivers, police will start issuing tickets on February 1, 2010.

Studies show that a driver using a cell phone is four times more likely to be in a crash than a driver focused on the road.  Other studies show that dialing and texting carries the highest degree of risk of all cell phone-related activities.

Police, paramedics and firefighters will continue to be allowed to use hand-held devices when performing their duties. All drivers may use hand-held devices to call 9-1-1. 

Quick Facts

  • Under Ontario's new law, fines of up to $500 can be levied against distracted drivers who text, type, email, dial, or chat using a prohibited hand-held device.
  • Ontario joins more than 50 countries worldwide and a growing number of North American jurisdictions that have similar distracted driving legislation including Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, California and New York.
  • Teens and young people under 35 are the most frequent users of cell phones while driving.

Additional Resources


“It is not safe to be texting, e-mailing or dialing a phone when you are driving a vehicle. Now it is also illegal.”

Jim Bradley

Minister of Transportation

Media Contacts



Driving and Roads