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Distracted Driving in Ontario

[UPDATED] RAC – Distracted driving regulations continue to be an area of interest for many Canadian Radio Amateurs. These regulations are made and enforced by provincial governments and can vary considerably from province to province and over time. In Ontario, RAC Directors Allan Boyd, VE3AJB (Ontario North/East) and Phil McBride, VA3QR (Ontario South) have been working hard on this issue.

On December 15, 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) announced that the current two-way radio exemption for “Amateur Radio operators and specified commercial, public transit, and public function drivers will be extended for a further three-years, effective January 1, 2018 until January 1, 2021.”

In June 2017, the Ministry of Transportation posted information and proposed policy options publicly on the Ontario Regulatory Registry related to the expiry of Ontario Regulation 366/09 (Display Screens and Hand-Held Devices) of the Highway Traffic Act.  This regulation is set to expire on January 1, 2018. 

After careful consideration of your input, and the input provided by other stakeholder groups, I am pleased to announce the following change to Ontario Regulation 366/09 (Display Screens and Hand-Held Devices):

The current two-way radio exemption for licensed amateur radio operators and specified commercial, public transit, and public function drivers will be extended for a further three-years, effective January 1, 2018 until January 1, 2021.

Ministry of Transportation

The update to the regulation can be found at httpss://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r17475.

While we were hoping for a permanent exemption, this decision by the MTO ensures our continued ability to operate Amateur Radio apparatus while mobile. RAC will continue to press for a permanent exemption going forward.

Canadian amateur radio operator since 2007. Operating on the VHF/UHF bands and local repeaters in the Durham Region area. Husband and the father of four.