Well it must be happening soon. Yesterdays article in the National Post and then today’s article in the Ottawa Citizen. (link to complete article below) which seems to be warning us of whats coming this way…
As usual my main comments, thoughts and fears are on how this could affect the Amateur Radio side of things as this is an Amateur Radio Blog.
Quoting from the article (link below) gives us:
“Newfoundland and Labrador banned use of hand-held cellphones while driving in 2003.
Quebec and Nova Scotia introduced similar bans in 2008. In October, drivers in Ontario face fines of up to $500 for cellphone use while driving. Alberta, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island are considering similar bans. No jurisdiction in North America has issued a total ban on cellphone use in vehicles.”
Now the above statement for the most part is just background information but its good to know. Has anyone out there seen any other locations that have amateurs out there screaming that they have been banned from operating their amateur radios during mobile operations? I have not seen or heard the rumblings of this so I am going to guess that Ontario’s Bill C118 will most likely be “Status Quo” with the other provinces.
Now one thing I noticed today while reading the Ottawa Citizen Article (link below) is:
“drivers in Ontario face fines of up to $500 for cellphone use while driving”.
The thought of only a $500.00 fine (and the article says “up to”) has me believing that this will be a charge we see on a fairly regular basis in our local courthouse. I also see this being the first charge with the second charge being “Dangerous operation of a Motor Vehicle…” It appears to me (and I am no lawyer) that get seen using your hands held device while operating a vehicle and its a $500.00 warning. Cause any serious (or not so serious) issues at the same time and get the book thrown at you.
Once again getting back to two basics…. The first being that so far nothing we have seen mentions amateur radio so we avoid the basic $500.00 warning but still could get hit with the Second more serious charge depending on the Descretion of the the Officer.
Remember that this could apply to anyone (the guy who looks at the pretty girl at the bus stop, or the mom who looks at her crying child in the back seat for a split second… The “careless driving” or ” Dangerous Operation of a motor vehicle” charges have always been there and do not specify what sort of distraction needed…
The second thing is all we know for sure is that the law is coming but right now how they define things are still in the open. I have not seen anything that would appear to give the people who will be enforcing the Highway Traffic Act any direction on this matter. We have seen quotes from the minister but so far nothing in writing.
In fairness we don’t really need a law to tell us how to be behave… or to be more correct we should not….. However one is coming and once again its kind of a good thing as you might be driving towards me or a member of my family in the near future.
Here is an interesting article on the current topic from the Ottawa Citizen
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