NEWS RELEASE · 8th January 2010
UPDATED with information regarding "Allowed Devices". At end of News Release.
The Terrace RCMP would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and in preparation of the coming year we would like to remind motorists of the new Distracted Driving Legislation.
As of January 1st, 2010 new BC law states that:
● drivers cannot send or read emails or text messages;
● drivers cannot make or take calls unless using a hands-free device;
● drivers cannot hold or operate any electronic device;
● learners and novice drivers or graduated license holders (GLH), cannot operate handheld or hands-free devices.
“Using” an electronic device includes:
● holding the device;
● operating one of its functions (i.e. pressing buttons);
● talking on the device;
● watching the device.
“Electronic devices” include:
● cell phones, Blackberry, and other handheld devices that have telephone capabilities and/or on which you can send text messages or e-mails;
● I-Pods and other audio players;
● GPS systems;
● Hand microphones;
This new legislation is designed to improve road safety as studies have shown those using electronic devices while driving have a four times greater chance of being involved in a collision than those not using one. Drivers who are safely and legally parked off the roadway are permitted to use electronic devices. They may also be used if hands-free technology is being utilized or if an emergency is being reported to a police department, fire department or ambulance service (i.e. calling 911).
Throughout the month of January, the Terrace RCMP will continue educating the motoring public on this new legislation and the importance of focusing their attention on the most important task at hand – safe driving.
Violation Tickets and Fines (Not in effect until February 1, 2010)
Graduated license holders (learners and novice) who cannot use any electronic device within the meaning of the legislation will receive a violation ticket with a specified penalty of $167 dollars and 3 penalty points.
Drivers using an electronic device that is not allowed by the legislation but does not involve emailing or texting (i.e. talking on a cell phone) - $167 dollars and no penalty points.
Drivers using an electronic device to communicate with another person or another device by email or other text based message, or by dialing - $167 dollars and 3 penalty points.
To comply with the new law, drivers are permitted to utilize hands-free technology that is activated by a single touch to a button, or when it is safe to do so, pull over and stop their vehicle before they talk or email.
Terrace RCMP encourages our motorists to recognize road safety as an individual’s responsibility. Please voluntarily stop using electronic devices while driving.
Anyone with questions or concerns can call the Terrace RCMP at
These fall under devices allowed;
A “hand microphone” is a ½ duplex communication device used principally for commercial purposes (e.g., delivery business). The devices consists of a hand-held unit that:
● Is both receiver and microphone; ● Is operated by a push and hold to talk function; and
● Allows for oral communication, but not for the transmission
and receipt of oral communication at the same time.
A person may use a hand microphone while driving if:
● The device is within easy reach of the driver’s seat; and
● The device is not held in the hand; and
● Is securely fixed to the motor vehicle or worn securely on the
person’s body in a manner that does not obstruct the
person’s view of the front or sides of the motor vehicle or
interfere with the safety or operating equipment of the motor
Two way Radios
Two way radios are ½ duplex communication devices used principally
for commercial purposes and by amateur radio operators licensed
through Industry Canada under the Radio communication Act (Canada).
The devices consist of a microphone and receiver unit connected by a wire that:
● Is operated by a push and hold to talk function, and
● Allows for oral communication, but not for the transmission and receipt of oral communication at the same time; and
● The transmission of sound is over a set radio frequency. vehicle.