A Sault Star file photo of a person driving while texting.

Sault Star file photo

The Sault Ste Marie Police Service has designated March as Distracted Driving month, and as such officers from Patrol and Traffic Services will be conducting targeted enforcement of Ontario’s traffic laws regarding the use of handheld communication and entertainment devices.

The Highway Traffic Act of Ontario prohibits the use of cell phones and other entertainment devices while driving a motor vehicle.

There are exemptions for using a handheld communication device and they are:

To contact Police, Fire or EMS Services

While using it in conjunction with a hands free device (Bluetooth type devices) and

The phone may be used if all of the following are present

  1. The motor vehicle is off the roadway or is lawfully parked on the roadway
  2. The motor vehicle is not in motion
  3. The motor vehicle is not impeding traffic.

Motorists are reminded that the offence is committed when the driver holds or uses one of these devices, so therefore checking call logs, emails, or texting are all prohibited.

If you are stopped by officers for having a cell phone in your hand will receive a minimum fine of $490 and the loss of 3 demerit points.

Officers have further noticed an increase in those having their driver and passenger front side windows tinted to a degree that the driver cannot be seen. Complaints from the driving public with regards to high level of tint covering on these side windows have also been received. As a result, in conjunction with the distracted driving campaign, officers will be looking for those with excessive dark tint on those windows.

The Highway Traffic Act of Ontario prohibits the use of any coloured material on the windshield or side windows directly to the left or right side of the driver’s seat that “substantially obscures” the interior of the motor vehicle when viewed from the outside. This applies if you are checked day or night. Those found with an excessive tint on these windows could face $110 fine.

Every licensed driver has a responsibility to direct his or her compete attention to driving safely.

Source: Sault Star