Nova Scotia’s cellphone-while-driving ban appears to be getting across to people behind the wheel.

The province released its 2009 Nova Scotia Road Safety Survey on Thursday, which states 78 per cent of those interviewed aren’t using hand-held cellphones while driving.

Thirty-nine per cent surveyed say they either don’t or no longer talk on a hand-held cellphone while driving. Another 39 per cent say they are or have switched over to a hands-free cellphone or blue tooth.

Eleven per cent say they use their cellphone less than before while driving, six per cent haven’t changed their behaviour and five per cent continue to talk on their cellphone.

The province banned driving and talking on a cellphone in April of 2008.

“We believe people are starting to obey the law, but we still see more than the normal amount of people using cellphones when they drive. But it has decreased since the law was implemented,” Halifax RCMP spokesman Cpl. Joe Taplin said about the poll results.

“We don’t understand (however) why people are still persistent to utilize the cellphones instead of switching to the hands-free sets. It’s kind of mind-boggling to us.”

Cellphone usage along with drinking and driving, speeding and distractions are listed in the survey as the most serious road safety issues on provincial highways. Nearly seven in 10 drivers rated these as serious problems.

“Speeding and drinking and driving are the No. 1 contributing factors to deaths on our highways,” Taplin said. “Without question.”

The survey also says 81 per cent of drivers have gone over the speed limit between one and 15 km/h in the past month when interviewed, while 24 per cent had gone between 16 and 30 km/h over the speed limit.


The 2009 Nova Scotia Road Safety Survey conducted by Corporate Research Associates Inc. interviewed 1,445 drivers by telephone last June. Complete survey results are available at

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