Aside from the 2010 Winter Olympic Buzz, Vancouver is talking about the new cell phone ban that came into effect on Jan 1, 2010. Here’s what every Vancouver driver needs to know.
The new law bans or restricts the use of certain portable electronic devices while operating a vehicle. It applies particularly to cell phone usage, but also applies to devices including PDAs, Mp3 players, and handheld electronic devices. Email and texting are now completely banned while driving.
Permitted Electronic Device Usage
You are permitted to answer calls using a hands-free device (such as a Bluetooth headset). Permitted hands-free devices or headsets must be:
- set-up and in place before turning on your vehicle
- operated by voice command or one-touch
- worn in one ear only (unless you are on a motorcycle)
You may use the full, hands-on capabilities of your electronic devices if:
- lawfully parked off the roadway
- calling emergency services (911) about an emergency
- using a hands-free device
Fixed GPS devices, portable music players and television screens may still be used as long as they are set-up before starting the vehicle, and are not operated (unless using voice commands) by the driver.
Emergency response personnel (peace officers, paramedics, and fire services) are permitted to use electronic communications devices in carrying out their job. Commercial drivers have similar device restrictions to regular drivers, but with additional permitted uses. Drivers in the Graduated Licensing program now have a full ban on using all electronic devices while driving…No exceptions.
During January, there is a one-month grace period in which you will only get a warning and a reminder. Starting February 1, 2010 you can be fined $167 plus 3 penalty points if you’re caught using an electronic device while driving in BC.
Hopefully this will help keep Vancouver roads safer. Visit the WriterGal blog tomorrow for more information about driving in BC.
For full details about the BC-wide electronic device and cell phone ban and rules, visit the ICBC Drive Cell Safe website.Filed under News, Travel, Vancouver | Comment (1)