Modes of Transportation – In an Automobile

Cell Phones and Texting at the Wheel

You must never hold a cell phone in your hand while driving, even when stopped in traffic or at a red light. Failure to abide by this rule is an offence subject to a fine and demerit points.

What the law says

When driving, it is prohibited to hold a device with a telephone function, regardless of whether the device is on or off. The devices covered include:

  • first-generation cell phones (with no Internet capabilities)
  • smart phones
  • any device that displays emails and allows users to surf the Internet, such as digital tablets

You are considered to be:

  • using a cell phone while driving if it is not securely mounted in a holder, even if you are just checking the time
  • driving, even if:
    • you are stuck in a traffic jam, whether it be for one minute, one hour, or several hours
    • you are stopped at a red light
  • you can only hold your cell phone when your vehicle is parked legally and safely on the side of the road, at which point you can do so even if the engine is still running

Penalties

Using a cell phone while driving or handling it in any way automatically leads to:

  • an $80 to $100 fine
  • 4 demerit points

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 is a source of distraction.

If you use a hands-free device, make sure the phone is securely mounted in a holder.

Highway shoulders – for emergencies only!

In addition to being prohibited on a highway, parking on the shoulder is unsafe as there is a risk of collision with other vehicles.

Tips for keeping your eyes on the road

  • Download the free Focus Mode app
  • Turn off your phone before getting behind the wheel
  • In case of an emergency:
    • park at a safe and legal place to make a call or send a text message
    • OR
    • if possible, ask your passengers to read, write or call for you

No texting at the wheel!

The anti-texting static cling sticker is available, free of charge, at SAAQ service centres and participating Familiprix pharmacies.

Static window cling against texting while driving