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New Brunswick mulls a ban on hand-held cell phones while driving


January 5, 2010   by Canadian Underwriter


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New Brunswick, one of only two provinces (in addition to Alberta) to allow the use of handheld devices while driving, is considering a ban on such use, cbc.ca reports.
New Brunswick Public Safety Minister John Foran told cbc.ca that while the government has in the past opted for public education about the dangers of distracted driving, it is mulling the possibility of an outright ban.
“Right now, the motor vehicle registrar has actually begun those consultations, and I’m hoping we’ll have a report back to me with the final consultations,” cbc.ca quoted Foran as saying. “Hopefully [the province will] get to move forward with some type of legislation.”
He added the Insurance Bureau of Canada would be among the groups consulted.
On Jan. 1, 2010, both Saskatchewan and British Columbia enacted their respective legislation banning the use of handheld devices while driving.
Drivers charged under Saskatchewan’s law face a penalty of $280 and four demerit points under the Safe Driver Recognition and Driver Improvement programs.
In B.C., a driver caught talking on a hand-held phone or electronic device faces a fine of $167. Drivers caught emailing or texting could be subject to three penalty points.