Ontario bans use of phones while driving

Employers may need to adjust policies, buy new equipment for workers on the road
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/19/2009

Employers that are used to having employees check in or conduct other business while on the road may have to make a few changes once a new Ontario law banning the use of cellphones and other handheld personal devices while driving comes into effect.

The Ontario government recently passed Bill 118, the Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act, 2008. Once the new act comes into force — expected to happen this fall — it will be illegal to use cellphones and most other personal electronic devices with display screens while behind the wheel of a moving car.

With so many people using electronic devices, most employers will be affected by the ban in some way, said Michael Fitzgibbon, a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais who practices labour relations and employment law.