Using Your Cell in Hands-Free Mode


I want to add some clarity to the use of handheld devices while operating your vehicle. Firstly; understand that distracted driving one of the top four killers on our roads so please, DO NOT text and drive but here is what the law allows you to do:

You may operate your phone in hands free mode. You are lawfully allowed to push one button to answer and one button to end your call. While doing so, the phone must be securely attached to the vehicle or in a secure location where the phone will not move; you can easily see the screen; and push the buttons without adjusting your driving position.

I recently won a trial where the driver was charged for using her cell phone and surprisingly, neither the Crown or the Justice of the Peace was familiar with O.Reg 366/09.

This is a summary of the following sections of the Highway Traffic Act and Associated Regulations:

S.78.1(1) of the Highway Traffic Act states [No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device….] But; S.78.1 states [Despite subsections (1) and (2), a person may drive a motor vehicle on a highway while using a device described in those subsections in hands-free mode].

Additionally, O.Reg 366/09 s.14(1) states [A person may drive a motor vehicle on a highway while pressing a button on a hand-held wireless communication device to make, answer or end a cell phone call or to transmit or receive voice communication on a two-way radio if the device is placed securely in or mounted to the motor vehicle so that it does not move while the vehicle is in motion and the driver can see it at a quick glance and easily reach it without adjusting his or her driving position.]