First a warning...then drivers should prepare for a ticket

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Come next week you can expect a stern warning if a Hamilton police officer sees you driving while chatting on your cell phone or fiddling with your iPod.

New regulations that ban the use of all hand-held communication and entertainment devices while driving take effect in Ontario on Monday.

At the Hamilton Police Service, traffic safety coordinator Constable Claus Wagner said officers will follow the suggested guidelines from the Ministry of Transportation that police run a three-month grace period where they tell drivers about the new rules before issuing a ticket.

“We’re going to follow along with the education,” said Const. Wager, who noted police still have the discretion to lay dangerous driving charges if they see someone talking on their cell phone while speeding or driving erratically.

He said spotting someone with a cell phone, iPod or GPS unit in their hand while driving is enough to pull them over. Hands-free units are permitted under the new law.

Police may have a lot of educating to do.

Const. Wagner said he has witnessed dozens of people chatting on their phones while driving along the Linc and other busy streets in the city.

“I notice a lot of young drivers seem to be on their cell phone all the time,” he said.

Currently there is no set fine for distracted driving.

Const. Wagner said the driver is issued a summons and must appear before a Justice of the Peace who can issue a fine ranging between $60 and $500.

Police are hoping the province will have a set fine in place by the time the grace period ends on Feb. 1, 2010.

“The rumours are upwards of $485,” Const. Wagner said.

Provincial police say they will also be taking part in the three-month education period.

First a warning...then drivers should prepare for a ticket

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Come next week you can expect a stern warning if a Hamilton police officer sees you driving while chatting on your cell phone or fiddling with your iPod.

New regulations that ban the use of all hand-held communication and entertainment devices while driving take effect in Ontario on Monday.

At the Hamilton Police Service, traffic safety coordinator Constable Claus Wagner said officers will follow the suggested guidelines from the Ministry of Transportation that police run a three-month grace period where they tell drivers about the new rules before issuing a ticket.

“We’re going to follow along with the education,” said Const. Wager, who noted police still have the discretion to lay dangerous driving charges if they see someone talking on their cell phone while speeding or driving erratically.

He said spotting someone with a cell phone, iPod or GPS unit in their hand while driving is enough to pull them over. Hands-free units are permitted under the new law.

Police may have a lot of educating to do.

Const. Wagner said he has witnessed dozens of people chatting on their phones while driving along the Linc and other busy streets in the city.

“I notice a lot of young drivers seem to be on their cell phone all the time,” he said.

Currently there is no set fine for distracted driving.

Const. Wagner said the driver is issued a summons and must appear before a Justice of the Peace who can issue a fine ranging between $60 and $500.

Police are hoping the province will have a set fine in place by the time the grace period ends on Feb. 1, 2010.

“The rumours are upwards of $485,” Const. Wagner said.

Provincial police say they will also be taking part in the three-month education period.

First a warning...then drivers should prepare for a ticket

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Come next week you can expect a stern warning if a Hamilton police officer sees you driving while chatting on your cell phone or fiddling with your iPod.

New regulations that ban the use of all hand-held communication and entertainment devices while driving take effect in Ontario on Monday.

At the Hamilton Police Service, traffic safety coordinator Constable Claus Wagner said officers will follow the suggested guidelines from the Ministry of Transportation that police run a three-month grace period where they tell drivers about the new rules before issuing a ticket.

“We’re going to follow along with the education,” said Const. Wager, who noted police still have the discretion to lay dangerous driving charges if they see someone talking on their cell phone while speeding or driving erratically.

He said spotting someone with a cell phone, iPod or GPS unit in their hand while driving is enough to pull them over. Hands-free units are permitted under the new law.

Police may have a lot of educating to do.

Const. Wagner said he has witnessed dozens of people chatting on their phones while driving along the Linc and other busy streets in the city.

“I notice a lot of young drivers seem to be on their cell phone all the time,” he said.

Currently there is no set fine for distracted driving.

Const. Wagner said the driver is issued a summons and must appear before a Justice of the Peace who can issue a fine ranging between $60 and $500.

Police are hoping the province will have a set fine in place by the time the grace period ends on Feb. 1, 2010.

“The rumours are upwards of $485,” Const. Wagner said.

Provincial police say they will also be taking part in the three-month education period.