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Distracted driving
law for commercial
drivers

Types of vehicles

The distracted driving law will apply to all
vehicles as defined in the Traffic Safety
Act. It will include vehicles like cars,
motorcycles, motor homes, truck tractors,
farm vehicles and bicycles.

Cellular phones and other
distractions

Do not use a cellular phone or other
electronic devices while driving. Using a
cellular phone to make or receive a call,
or to receive or send a text message is
a distraction that can take your attention
away from the demanding task of
driving. This applies to hands-free cellular
telephones as well. If you want to make
or receive a call, or receive or send a text
message, stop in a safe and legal place.

Do not do activities that allow you to
be distracted while driving. While all forms
of distracted driving can be hazardous,
the Traffic Safety Act includes fines for
certain distractions. These include using a
hand-held cell phone; texting or emailing,
using electronic devices, such as laptop
computers, video games, cameras, video
entertainment displays and programming
portable audio players; entering information
on GPS units; reading printed materials in
the vehicle; writing; printing or sketching;
and personal grooming.

Types of emergency vehicles
that are exempt

Under the Traffic Safety Act, an emergency
vehicle includes, police service vehicles,
fire response units, ambulances and gas
disconnection units responding to a call.
Drivers of emergency vehicles will be
able to use hand-held communication
devices or other electronic devices only
when acting within the scope of their
employment.

Activities that are allowed for
commercial drivers

These activities are not specifically
restricted under the law:
• using two-way radios or hand-held
   radios, such as those commonly
   referred to as CB (Citizen’s Band)
   radios, when escorting oversized
   vehicles, to contact one’s employer, or
   when participating in search, rescue and
   emergency management situations.

Display screens that are permitted:
• a GPS navigation system – as long as
   the system is affixed to the vehicle and
   programmed before you begin driving
   or the system is voice activated. You
   cannot hold the unit or manually enter
   information while driving.
• a gauge, instrument, device or
   system that provides information
   about the vehicle’s systems or
   the vehicle’s location
• a dispatch system for
   transporting passengers
• a logistical transportation tracking
   system that tracks vehicle location,
   driver status or the delivery of goods
   for commercial purposes 

 

82   A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing 

 

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