Portable Electronic Devices: Prohibited While Driving

Using a portable electronic device with a screen while driving is strictly prohibited. Simply holding it in your hand or in any other manner while you are driving is prohibited.

What does “while driving” mean?

If you are at the wheel of a road vehicle in a traffic lane, you are driving. Even when you are stopped at a red light or stuck in traffic, you are driving!

Drivers who use a portable electronic device while driving endangers their life and the lives of others. Failure to abide by this rule is an offence subject to a fine, demerit points and, in the case of a repeat offence, an immediate suspension of the driver’s licence.

Such devices include:

  • cell phones
  • any device that displays emails and allows users to surf the Internet, such as digital tablets
  • smart watches (it is even prohibited to use it to check the time while driving)
  • any electronic devide that has a display screen, such as multimedia players and some vape devices
  • display screens (other than those authorized)

Hands-free devices are not recommended. They are merely tolerated.

Even if their use is authorized, hands-free devices are not a safer option and are not recommended, as the simple act of talking on the phone or making a voice command is a source of distraction.

If you do use a hands-free device, we recommend that you solidly mount your phone on a support device. The phone must not interfere with driving manoeuvres or prevent any equipment from working properly (e.g. an air bag), and it must not pose a risk of injury in the event of an accident.

Surfing the Internet while driving is prohibited.

In Québec, it is prohibited to surf the Web or check your emails while driving, even if you do so using a screen that was installed by the vehicle manufacturer.

Authorized screens

Authorized screens display information used for driving or operating the vehicle's usual equipment. Such screens are usually mounted on the dashboard, or on a console between the two front seats, and display a variety of information, such as:

  • tire pressure
  • fuel consumption
  • driving mode (electric/fuel)
  • activation of various systems, such as four-wheel drive, traction control, parking assistance, etc.
  • road conditions, including obstacles and the condition of the pavement
  • weather conditions, such as visibility and temperature
  • itineraries (GPS)

Other authorized screens

Other screens are authorized for drivers who carry out specialized activities, including:

  • peace officers and drivers of emergency vehicles
  • authorized driver's permit holders for the purposes of collecting the fees payable from a passenger
  • bus drivers as part of passenger control and safety
  • employees of public utilities, such as Hydro Québec
  • employees of telecommunications companies

Screens that are strictly prohibited

Any screen that you can see from the driver’s seat and that does not serve to provide information useful for driving is prohibited. Such screens include:

  • televisions
  • laptops or hand-held computers
  • game screens
  • portable game consoles
  • digital camcorders
  • digital cameras
  • DVD players
  • cell phones

Before using a device with a screen

Be sure you respect the conditions for installing and using authorized screens.

Last update: July  5, 2023