In Canada, it is important to have a Safe Driving Policy in Place. If you are an employer whose employees are required to drive a company or their own personal vehicle for work purposes, now is the time to review your policies. Ontario will soon be enforcing Bill 118, an amendment to the Highway Traffic Act.
Bill 118, which comes into effect on October 23, 2009, bans drivers in Ontario from using handheld devices with display screens while operating a vehicle on the road. Some of the new rules of Bill 118 are as follows:
· Holding or using a wireless communication device (a cell phone) or a portable electronic entertainment device (iPod) while driving is prohibited.
· Commercial GPS units along with similar dashboard-mounted devices that provide gauges and displays relating to logistical or navigation uses are fine.
· Using a cell phone or wireless communication device in hands-free mode, as long as you’re not holding it during use, is fine.
· Using any device while pulled-over or parked in a way that you are not disrupting traffic, is fine.
· Violations will carry a fine of $500.
· Depending upon the violation, police will have the option to also use existing careless driving laws for additional penalties.
To read Bill 118 click here.
Even if you do not have operations in Ontario, the guidelines of Bill 118 are still valid and should be considered when reviewing your Safe Driving Policy. The purpose of having such a policy is to ensure that your employees are traveling safely thus mitigating potential liability issues.
When was the last time that you reviewed your Safe Driving Policy?