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Portable Electronic Devices: Prohibited While Driving

Using a portable electronic device 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.

Holding a portable electronic device in your hand while driving

What does "while driving" mean?

Simply put, when you are driving, you cannot use your cell phone or any other electronic device to…

  • make or answer a call
  • read or send a text message
  • check your schedule
  • check the time
  • check your Facebook activity feed
  • select a playlist
  • surf the Internet
  • do anything else…

The same rule applies to…

  • all types of phones, from the oldest model to the latest
  • all types of digital tablets
  • all types of media players (music, video, etc.)
  • all types of laptops
  • all smart watches, even for checking time


Using a cell phone or another portable electronic device, or consulting a display screen without complying with the rules for its installation and use, or handling it in any way, while driving, automatically leads to:

  • fines
    • First offence: $300 to $600
    • Repeat offence (within a two-year period): double the minimum fine, or $600
  • immediate licence suspension in the case of a repeat offence (within a two-year period):
    • First repeat offence: 3 days
    • Second repeat offence: 7 days
    • Third repeat offence: 30 days
  • 5 demerit points

To talk, send a text message, change the song or check something on your device

  • Park at a location where it is safe and legal to do so… The shoulder of a highway is a safety corridor reserved for emergency situations.  This is not an appropriate place to check or use your device!
  • If a trustworthy passenger is riding with you, ask him or her to “manage” your device for you.
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Faites appel à un texteur désigné (A designated texter is the way to go - in French only)

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Last update: May 17, 2022