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On the road? Phones off

Ontario’s ban on the use of cellphones, BlackBerrys and other hand-held electronic devices by drivers will take effect Oct. 26.

Ontario’s ban on the use of cellphones, BlackBerrys and other hand-held electronic devices by drivers will take effect Oct. 26.

Motorists can expect a three-month education period when the ban first comes into effect, which means police will show some leniency.

But police will begin issuing tickets next Feb. 1.

Ontario drivers could be fined up to $500 if they’re caught using their hand-held cellphones or BlackBerrys to talk, email or send text messages while behind the wheel.

The government has said hands-free devices aren’t covered by the legislation, but they are not recommended for use while driving.

Drivers are also banned from using portable video games and DVD players but they are allowed to use their cellphones for 9-1-1 calls.

Global positioning systems are allowed, as long as they’re properly secured to the dashboard.

There are no demerit points attached to the Ontario law, unlike in other provinces.

However, Ontario motorists using a banned cellphone could also be charged under careless driving laws and face fines, six demerit points, a driver’s licence suspension and even jail time.

 
 
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