FAQ: Can I text on my phone when I am stopped at a traffic light in downtown Kingston? When can I use my phone while driving?
Answer: No, you cannot text on your phone when you are stopped at a traffic light. It is still illegal for Ontario drivers to text or talk on their cell phones even though they are stopped at a traffic light or are stuck in traffic. The law doesn’t change just because the vehicle is not moving. It’s like driving while intoxicated. Even if the drunk driver is stopped at a red light, he is still illegally driving under the influence.
The only time drivers can use their cell phones to talk, text or email is when they are parked or pulled over. However, drivers have to be legally parked or pulled over in order to use their phones. Therefore, if drivers are parked illegally and using their phones to text, they are still violating Ontario distracted driving laws.
Pursuant to Ontario distracted driving law, here is what you cannot do legally (this includes when stopped at a traffic light):
- use hand-held devices such as a cell phone, smartphone, blackberry, etc., to talk, dial, text or email;
- use hand-held entertainment devices such as an iPod, portable MP3 players, etc.;
- view display screens unrelated to driving such as a laptop, tablet, DVD player, etc.;
- program a GPS device, i.e., type in address, other than by voice commands.
If there is an emergency situation and you need to call 911, then you are allowed to use your phone.
Drivers can use hands-free wireless communication devices with an earpiece or Bluetooth device while driving.
Even though the law allows drivers to use an earpiece or Bluetooth device to talk while driving, studies have shown that “wireless” doesn’t necessarily mean “safe”. Many drivers have a false sense of security when using hands-free devices.
There have been numerous studies that demonstrate that hands-free devices are not safer than hand-held phones. Drivers’ brains are still distracted by the cell phone conversations. Just because the law does not ban the use of hands-free devices, that doesn’t mean you should use them.
There are many forms of distracted driving, such as changing the radio station, eating and putting on make-up. All of these tasks take a driver’s attention off the road. Regardless of what drivers are allowed to do, if they cause accidents because they are distracted, they may be held liable for causing accidents.
Help After an Ontario Car or Truck Accident
If you were injured in an Ontario car accident caused by a driver who was texting or talking on a cell phone, you have legal rights. Call the lawyers at Bergeron Clifford to schedule a FREE consultation. 1-866-384-5886