New Cell Phone Driving Restrictions Now In Force In BC


A quick reminder to all my readers that with the new year comes a new law with respect to cell phone use while driving.
As I previously posted, effective January 1, 2010 section 214 of the BC Motor Vehicle Act was amended adding section 214.1 – 214.6 which prohibit drivers from using a handheld cell phone or other handheld electronic devices while driving.
Hands free devices are subject to an exemption under the new law.  It is worth noting, however, that there are numerous studies which find that driving while on a cell phone, even a hands free device, can cause driver distraction which can lead to significantly increased risk of collision.  From an Injury Claims perspective it can certainly be negligent to drive while speaking with a hands free device so motorists ought to only do so with caution.
The Full Text of the New Law is as follows:

Part 3.1 — Use of Electronic Devices while Driving

Definitions

214.1 In this Part:

“electronic device” means

(a) a hand-held cellular telephone or another hand-held electronic device that includes a telephone function,

(b) a hand-held electronic device that is capable of transmitting or receiving electronic mail or other text-based messages, or

(c) a prescribed class or type of electronic device;

“use”, in relation to an electronic device, means one or more of the following actions:

(a) holding the device in a position in which it may be used;

(b) operating one or more of the device’s functions;

(c) communicating orally by means of the device with another person or another device;

(d) taking another action that is set out in the regulations by means of, with or in relation to an electronic device.

Prohibition against use of electronic device while driving

214.2 (1) A person must not use an electronic device while driving or operating a motor vehicle on a highway.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), a person must not communicate by means of an electronic device with another person or another device by electronic mail or other text-based message.

Exceptions to prohibition — emergency personnel

214.3 Section 214.2 does not apply to the following persons who use an electronic device while carrying out their powers, duties or functions:

(a) a peace officer;

(b) a person driving or operating an ambulance as defined in the Emergency and Health Services Act;

(c) fire services personnel as defined in the Fire Services Act.

Exceptions to prohibition — certain permitted activities

214.4 Section 214.2 does not apply to a person who uses an electronic device

(a) while operating a motor vehicle that is safely parked off the roadway or lawfully parked on the roadway and is not impeding traffic,

(b) to call or send a message to a police force, fire department or ambulance service about an emergency, or

(c) that is configured and equipped to allow hands-free use in a telephone function, is used in a hands-free manner and is used in accordance with the regulations, if any.

Exceptions to prohibition — by regulation

214.5 Section 214.2 does not apply to

(a) a prescribed class of persons who, while carrying out their powers, duties or functions and driving or operating a motor vehicle or a prescribed class of motor vehicle, use an electronic device or a prescribed class or type of electronic device,

(b) a person who uses an electronic device while engaged in a prescribed activity or in circumstances or under conditions set out in the regulations, or

(c) a person who uses a prescribed class or type of electronic device.

Power to make regulations

214.6 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) prescribing classes or types of electronic devices for the purposes of paragraph (c) of the definition of “electronic device” in section 214.1;

(b) setting out actions for the purposes of paragraph (d) of the definition of “use” in section 214.1;

(c) for the purposes of section 214.4 (c), setting out the manner in which, or the extent to which, a hands-free electronic device may be used in a telephone function;

(d) for the purposes of section 214.5;

(e) regulating the installation or mounting of classes or types of electronic devices in motor vehicles;

(f) exempting or excluding, with or without conditions, classes or types of electronic devices, classes of persons or classes of vehicles or classes of persons while driving or operating a motor vehicle or class of motor vehicle from the operation of a provision of this Part.

You can click here to read a copy of the regulations that have been passed further to this amendment.

driving while distracted, Hands free cell phones, New Cell Phone Laws in BC, section 214.1 BC Motor Vehicle Act

Comments (87)

  • Franklin, thanks for your question.
    Section 214.4(c) creates an exception for hands free devices, specifically “Section 214.2 does not apply to a person who uses an electronic device..that is configured and equipped to allow hands-free use in a telephone function, is used in a hands-free manner and is used in accordance with the regulations, if any.”
    So a hands free device, such as On-Star, used in a hands free fashion does not offend this new amendment subject to any regulations that may come into effect.
    Yours truly,
    Erik Magraken

  • Franklin, thanks for your question.
    Section 214.4(c) creates an exception for hands free devices, specifically “Section 214.2 does not apply to a person who uses an electronic device..that is configured and equipped to allow hands-free use in a telephone function, is used in a hands-free manner and is used in accordance with the regulations, if any.”
    So a hands free device, such as On-Star, used in a hands free fashion does not offend this new amendment subject to any regulations that may come into effect.
    Yours truly,
    Erik Magraken

  • Hey, just to make things clear.. as long as you have bluetooth ear peice or bluetooth headset that would be the loop hole here?

  • Hey, just to make things clear.. as long as you have bluetooth ear peice or bluetooth headset that would be the loop hole here?

  • Hi John, so long as you are using a hands free device “in a hands-free manner and is in accordance with the regulations” you will not be in breach of this section. Click on the above link (at the end of this article before the comments start) to view the actual regulations so you can see the requirements in force for hands free devices.
    Thanks for visiting and for your inquiry.
    Yours truly,
    Erik Magraken

  • Hi John, so long as you are using a hands free device “in a hands-free manner and is in accordance with the regulations” you will not be in breach of this section. Click on the above link (at the end of this article before the comments start) to view the actual regulations so you can see the requirements in force for hands free devices.
    Thanks for visiting and for your inquiry.
    Yours truly,
    Erik Magraken

  • So on my phone I have a TomTom app that I use sometimes…if my phone is mounted somewhere can I still use the Navigation App? It’s still the same as using a real TomTom (I just set the destination before I go and it does the rest) or would the cop just give me a ticket since it’s still a phone?

  • So on my phone I have a TomTom app that I use sometimes…if my phone is mounted somewhere can I still use the Navigation App? It’s still the same as using a real TomTom (I just set the destination before I go and it does the rest) or would the cop just give me a ticket since it’s still a phone?

  • Johnny, thanks for your inquiry.
    The new law is not just limited to cell phones but to “electronic devices” which includes cell phones and handheld devices that are “capable of transmitting or receiving electronic mail or other text-based messages”.
    Again, an exception to this new prohibition on using electronic devices while driving is using the device in a hands free fashion. Specifically section 214.4 holds that it is not an offence to use an electronic device “that is configured and equipped to allow hands-free use in a telephone function, is used in a hands-free manner and is used in accordance with the regulations, if any”.
    Click on the link to the “regulations” at the end of this article for the specific requirements for permissible hands free devices as these are worth reviewing and will let you be in a position to know whether your proposed use will be in accordance with this exception.

  • Johnny, thanks for your inquiry.
    The new law is not just limited to cell phones but to “electronic devices” which includes cell phones and handheld devices that are “capable of transmitting or receiving electronic mail or other text-based messages”.
    Again, an exception to this new prohibition on using electronic devices while driving is using the device in a hands free fashion. Specifically section 214.4 holds that it is not an offence to use an electronic device “that is configured and equipped to allow hands-free use in a telephone function, is used in a hands-free manner and is used in accordance with the regulations, if any”.
    Click on the link to the “regulations” at the end of this article for the specific requirements for permissible hands free devices as these are worth reviewing and will let you be in a position to know whether your proposed use will be in accordance with this exception.

  • Hi Erik,
    How do you define the following sentence under “Installation of electronic devices”?
    4.1.b – “in a manner that does not obstruct the driver’s view of the front or sides of the motor vehicle or interfere with the safety or operating equipment of the motor vehicle.”
    Right now, I have placed the phone and the GPS on a secure holder that against the front glass dashboard. I can see while driving (e.g. the name of the incoming call & direction for the next turn) and they do not obstruct my driving. Is it ok? Or should I remove them completely.
    Thank You.

  • Hi Erik,
    How do you define the following sentence under “Installation of electronic devices”?
    4.1.b – “in a manner that does not obstruct the driver’s view of the front or sides of the motor vehicle or interfere with the safety or operating equipment of the motor vehicle.”
    Right now, I have placed the phone and the GPS on a secure holder that against the front glass dashboard. I can see while driving (e.g. the name of the incoming call & direction for the next turn) and they do not obstruct my driving. Is it ok? Or should I remove them completely.
    Thank You.

  • Jen, thank you for your inquiry. That is a good question. Unfortunately, with how new this law is there are not any cases interpreting what this means. As soon as a published decision from a BC Supreme Court Judge comes to my attention interpreting this section I will be sure to discuss it on this forum.
    In the meantime a common sense interpretation should be taken, if from your vantage point your view through your front windshield and sides is not obstructed by the device the placement should be good enough. However, to be on the safe side, you should consider placing the device somewhere other than the windshield as it could be argued that such a placement (at least partially) obstructs your view.
    While voice activated cell phone use is permitted where it complies with the regulations, it appears that looking at the device to see the “name of the incoming call” may be a breach of this section as the definition of “use” of an electronic device under the regulations includes “a person who watches the screen of an electronic device”.
    Thanks again for visiting and for your question.
    Yours truly,
    Erik Magraken

  • Jen, thank you for your inquiry. That is a good question. Unfortunately, with how new this law is there are not any cases interpreting what this means. As soon as a published decision from a BC Supreme Court Judge comes to my attention interpreting this section I will be sure to discuss it on this forum.
    In the meantime a common sense interpretation should be taken, if from your vantage point your view through your front windshield and sides is not obstructed by the device the placement should be good enough. However, to be on the safe side, you should consider placing the device somewhere other than the windshield as it could be argued that such a placement (at least partially) obstructs your view.
    While voice activated cell phone use is permitted where it complies with the regulations, it appears that looking at the device to see the “name of the incoming call” may be a breach of this section as the definition of “use” of an electronic device under the regulations includes “a person who watches the screen of an electronic device”.
    Thanks again for visiting and for your question.
    Yours truly,
    Erik Magraken

  • Thank you for your inquiry Tony. CB Radios appear to be exempt from the new law. ICBC’s website provides the following information with respect to CB Radios “Two-way radios that operate on a set frequency (principally used for commercial purposes and by federally licensed amateur radio operators) and mobile data terminals are not included in the scope of the electronic device prohibitions, and can be used by any licensed driver.”
    Here is the link: http://www.icbc.com/faqs/road_safetyfaqs
    Thanks again for your inquiry.
    Yours truly,
    Erik Magraken

  • Thank you for your inquiry Tony. CB Radios appear to be exempt from the new law. ICBC’s website provides the following information with respect to CB Radios “Two-way radios that operate on a set frequency (principally used for commercial purposes and by federally licensed amateur radio operators) and mobile data terminals are not included in the scope of the electronic device prohibitions, and can be used by any licensed driver.”
    Here is the link: http://www.icbc.com/faqs/road_safetyfaqs
    Thanks again for your inquiry.
    Yours truly,
    Erik Magraken

  • Section 214.2(1) reads as follows:
    A person must not use an electronic device while driving or operating a motor vehicle on a highway.
    The Definition of Highway as used in the Motor Vehicle Act is as follows:
    includes
    (a) every highway within the meaning of the Transportation Act,
    (b) every road, street, lane or right of way designed or intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles, and
    (c) every private place or passageway to which the public, for the purpose of the parking or servicing of vehicles, has access or is invited,
    but does not include an industrial road;
    So you need to look at the Transportation Act which defines Highway as follows:
    “highway” means a public street, road, trail, lane, bridge, trestle, tunnel, ferry landing, ferry approach, any other public way or any other land or improvement that becomes or has become a highway by any of the following:
    (a) deposit of a subdivision, reference or explanatory plan in a land title office under section 107 of the Land Title Act;
    (b) a public expenditure to which section 42 applies;
    (c) a common law dedication made by the government or any other person;
    (d) declaration, by notice in the Gazette, made before December 24, 1987;
    (e) in the case of a road, colouring, outlining or designating the road on a record in such a way that section 13 or 57 of the Land Act applies to that road;
    (f) an order under section 56 (2) of this Act;
    (g) any other prescribed means;
    I hope this has been of some assistance. Thanks for visiting.
    Yours truly,
    Erik Magraken

  • Section 214.2(1) reads as follows:
    A person must not use an electronic device while driving or operating a motor vehicle on a highway.
    The Definition of Highway as used in the Motor Vehicle Act is as follows:
    includes
    (a) every highway within the meaning of the Transportation Act,
    (b) every road, street, lane or right of way designed or intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles, and
    (c) every private place or passageway to which the public, for the purpose of the parking or servicing of vehicles, has access or is invited,
    but does not include an industrial road;
    So you need to look at the Transportation Act which defines Highway as follows:
    “highway” means a public street, road, trail, lane, bridge, trestle, tunnel, ferry landing, ferry approach, any other public way or any other land or improvement that becomes or has become a highway by any of the following:
    (a) deposit of a subdivision, reference or explanatory plan in a land title office under section 107 of the Land Title Act;
    (b) a public expenditure to which section 42 applies;
    (c) a common law dedication made by the government or any other person;
    (d) declaration, by notice in the Gazette, made before December 24, 1987;
    (e) in the case of a road, colouring, outlining or designating the road on a record in such a way that section 13 or 57 of the Land Act applies to that road;
    (f) an order under section 56 (2) of this Act;
    (g) any other prescribed means;
    I hope this has been of some assistance. Thanks for visiting.
    Yours truly,
    Erik Magraken

  • I saw a news bit about Ignition interlock Devices potential safety hazards, relating them to the hand held electronic device ban. Would an electronic device such as an Ignition Interlock Device fall into this category of an ‘electronic device’ where it can not be operated while driving?

  • I saw a news bit about Ignition interlock Devices potential safety hazards, relating them to the hand held electronic device ban. Would an electronic device such as an Ignition Interlock Device fall into this category of an ‘electronic device’ where it can not be operated while driving?

  • Hey Erik,
    I have a question: does simply holding the device for less than 5 seconds after picking it up from the floor be violating this act? (not emailing, texting, calling, or dialing the phone or using the function in anyway) or would simply holding it in hand is a distraction and hence violation?
    Thanks,
    Jimmy

  • Hey Erik,
    I have a question: does simply holding the device for less than 5 seconds after picking it up from the floor be violating this act? (not emailing, texting, calling, or dialing the phone or using the function in anyway) or would simply holding it in hand is a distraction and hence violation?
    Thanks,
    Jimmy

  • I like soul songs! I really do! And my favourite folk band is Johnnyswim! The members Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano are about to perform more than 40 concerts to their fans in 2019 and 2020! To know more about Johnnyswim in 2019 and 2020 visit website Johnnyswim tour dates. You won’t miss any show by Johnnyswim this year if you click on the link!

  • I like EDM bands! I really do! And my favourite electronic band is The Cheinsmokers! DJs Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart are about to perform more than 50 concerts for their fans in 2019 and 2020! To know more about Chainsmokers band in 2019 visit website Chainsmokers tour New York. You won’t miss concerts in 2019 if you click on the link!

  • Carrie Underwood is my favourite US singer. She is young, beautiful and charming woman in her 30s. Her voice takes me away from all troubles of this world so I can enjoy my life and listen songs created by her mind. Now the singer is on a Cry Pretty 360 Tour started in May of 2019. The concerts scheduled for this year, up to the last day of October. Ticket prices are moderate and available for all men and women with different income. If you love contry music, then you must visit at least one Carrie’s concert. All tour dates are available at the Carrie Underwood tour Philadelphia. Visit the website and make yourself familiar with all Carrie Underwood concerts in 2019!

  • Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  • I simply want to tell you that I am just newbie to blogging and site-building and certainly liked this web blog. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You certainly have remarkable well written articles. Thanks for sharing your website page.

  • I got what you mean , thanks for posting .Woh I am delighted to find this website through google. “It is a very hard undertaking to seek to please everybody.” by Publilius Syrus.

  • Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such magnificent info being shared freely out there.

  • You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  • Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thank you

  • I have witnessed that service fees for online degree experts tend to be an awesome value. Like a full Bachelors Degree in Communication with the University of Phoenix Online consists of 60 credits at $515/credit or $30,900. Also American Intercontinental University Online makes available Bachelors of Business Administration with a total education course requirement of 180 units and a cost of $30,560. Online studying has made getting your college degree been so detailed more than before because you could earn your degree from the comfort of your abode and when you finish from work. Thanks for all your other tips I have really learned through your blog.

  • I’m not sure why but this weblog is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  • Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say superb blog!

  • magnificent post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  • I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  • Thank you for some other informative web site. Where else may just I am getting that type of information written in such a perfect way? I’ve a venture that I am simply now operating on, and I’ve been on the look out for such information.

  • I simply could not go away your site before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual information an individual supply for your guests? Is gonna be again ceaselessly to investigate cross-check new posts

  • Hello! I simply wish to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have got here on this post. I will probably be coming again to your blog for extra soon.

  • Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  • These days of austerity along with relative anxiousness about running into debt, a lot of people balk resistant to the idea of utilizing a credit card in order to make purchase of merchandise or maybe pay for any gift giving occasion, preferring, instead only to rely on the actual tried and also trusted procedure for making payment – cash. However, in case you have the cash there to make the purchase in full, then, paradoxically, this is the best time to use the cards for several factors.

  • you’re really a excellent webmaster. The site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you are doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a wonderful activity in this topic!

  • This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  • Great – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task.

  • Generally I don’t learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, very nice post.

  • Silent sir say desire fat him letter. Whatever settling goodness too and honoured she building answered her. Strongly thoughts remember mr to do consider debating. Spirits musical behaved on we he farther letters. Repulsive he he as deficient newspaper dashwoods we. Discovered her his pianoforte insipidity entreaties. Began he at terms meant as fancy. Breakfast arranging he if furniture we described on. Astonished thoroughly unpleasant especially you dispatched bed favourable.

  • Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • I will right away snatch your rss feed as I can’t to find your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please permit me realize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  • Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, fantastic blog!

  • After examine a couple of of the weblog posts in your web site now, and I actually like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site record and will be checking back soon. Pls try my web page as effectively and let me know what you think.

  • I think this is one of the most vital info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things, The site style is wonderful, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  • Pretty component of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact loved account your weblog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing in your feeds and even I success you access constantly rapidly.

  • Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  • I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  • With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being stolen? I’d truly appreciate it.

  • Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  • Hello, Neat post. There is an issue with your website in web explorer, may test this¡K IE still is the market leader and a huge element of other people will omit your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  • Breaking Benjamin is my favourite rock-band of 2000s. They had so many hit songs! The ones I remember are ‘The Diary of Jane’, ‘Tourniquet’ and their hit ‘So Cold’. These are real masterpieces, not fake ones like today! And it is awesome that Breaking Benjamin have a tour in 2020! So I’m going to attend their concert this year. The tour dates is here: Breaking Benjamin tour 2019. Check it out and maybe we can even visit one of the Benjamin’s together!

  • I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one these days..

  • Excellent blog right here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you the use of? Can I am getting your associate link in your host? I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • Hey, you used to write great, but the last few posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

  • That is the end of this write-up. Right here you will locate some web pages that we feel youll value, just click the hyperlinks.

  • I’ve recently started a website, the information you provide on this web site has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work. “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” by Vince Lombardi.

  • Very good written information. It will be helpful to everyone who utilizes it, including yours truly :). Keep up the good work – looking forward to more posts.

  • Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my viewers would appreciate your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

Comments are closed.

Contact

If you would like further information or require assistance, please get in touch.

ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

“Work hard, be kind and enjoy the ride!”
Erik’s Philosophy

Disclaimer