New Brunswick Tougher Distracted Driving Laws Go Into Effect Today

Update: see previous posts – June 6, 2011 Cellphones May Be Carcinogenic and Increase the Risk of Brain Cancer, May 16, 2010 Cell Phone Use causes Brain Cancer, May 15, 2011 – OPP Blitz – Monday, May 16 to Monday, May 22, 2011 (7 days) Distracted Driving Enforcement, March 18, 2011 Women Can’t Last Week without Cell/Smart Phone, Smart Digital Camera, MP3 Players, October 31, 2010 914 Cell Phone Charges Laid, Cell Phone Use causes Brain Cancer, Cell Phone Ban has Netted Thousands of Tickets in Toronto, Cell Phone Ban to be Aggressively Enforced on February 1, 2010, O.P.P Laying Numerous Cellphone Charges before February 1, 2010Cell Phone Ban effective October 26, 2009 on Ontario’s highways, streets & roads, Restrictions on Cell Phones in Motor Vehicle

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Commencing June 6, 2011, any motorist in New Brunswick, caught and convicted of using their cellphone while driving, faces a fine of $172.50 and three (3) demerit points - this may cause an increase to your auto insurance rates

Don’t be caught speaking on your cellphone, or texting a message while you driving on any New Brunswick highway, road or street,  as this would violate the legislation going into effect today and you will incur a stiff penalty of  a $172.50 fine  and three (3) demerit points on your driver’s licence, upon conviction.

New Brunswick has joined the other Provinces which already have implemented legislation aimed at a driver’s behaviour, which could be construed as “distracted driving”.

The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador became the first province to curtain the use of cellphones by driver’s in vehicles. Newfoundland and Labrador was followed by Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and now, New Brunwick.  Almost all the United States have passed similar legislation.  More than 50 countries have passed similar laws regarding the use of cellphones while operating a motor vehicle.

New Driver Distraction Rules Takes Effect Today, June 6, 2011

When driving, do you do things that distract you from the road – even for a second? New Brunswick is about to enact driver distraction legislation this spring that may affect you. Distracted driving is dangerous and unacceptable. This law will help all of us remain focused on driving and make New Brunswick’s roads safer for everyone.

It only takes a second to send a text, to dial a number, to input information into a GPS. It only takes a second to become distracted, to have an accident, to take a life. Why take the risk?

Driving requires your full attention. Distractions cause us to react more slowly, and they can cause accidents. Studies show that a significant percentage of collisions are the result of distracted driving: “driver distraction is a factor in 8 out of 10 – about 4 million – car crashes in each year.”

Start changing your habits now by keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Help create a culture where distracted driving is socially unacceptable.


The Law

What is a distraction?

The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and the Strategy to Reduce Impaired Driving (STRID) have developed the following definition of driver distraction:

“Distracted driving is the diversion of attention from driving, as a result of the driver focusing on a non-driving object, activity, event, or person. This diversion reduces awareness, decision-making, or performance leading to increased risk of driver-error, near-crashes, or crashes. The diversion of attention is not attributable to a medical condition, alcohol/drug use and/or fatigue.”

What is illegal and what is not under the new law?

Telephone calls: You cannot make or take calls when driving unless your telephone is hands-free or single-touch. If there is an emergency, you can call 911. Only while driving a police, fire or ambulance vehicle are you allowed to make or take a call.

Texting: You are not allowed. Ever.

GPS: You can look at your GPS screen, but you cannot program or handle it.

MP3 or other entertainment devices: You can handle built-in devices. If you have a portable device plugged in while you drive, you can listen, but you cannot touch.

Display screen: If it is built into your vehicle, it is fine. Otherwise, you cannot have it in your view.

Two-way radio: You can use a two-way radio if driving for commercial purposes or driving a commercial vehicle (a bus or vehicle with gross mass of 4,500 kg or more), or involved in an emergency operation or search-and-rescue.

What is the penalty?

Drivers who violate the legislation can be fined $172.50 and lose three points from their licence.

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