Driving and Texting

Tips to avoid texting while driving

  • Turn it off and stow it. Turn your phone off or switch it to silent mode before you get in the car. Then stow it away so that it's out of reach.
  • Spread the word. Record a message on your phone that tells callers you're driving and will get back to them when you're off the road, or sign up for a service that offers this feature.
  • Pull over. If you need to make a call, pull over to a safe area first.
  • Use your passengers. Ask a passenger to make the call or respond to a text for you.
  • X the Text. Don't ever text and drive, surf the web or read your email while driving. It's dangerous and against the law in most state. Even voice-to-text isn't risk-free.
  • Know the law. Familiarize yourself with local laws before you get in the car, including whether you are permitted by law to use a hand-held cell phone while driving.  It is against the law to do so in Ontario.
  • Prepare. If using a GPS device, enter your destination before you start to drive. If you prefer a map or written directions, review them in advance. If you need help while driving, ask a passenger to assist you or pull over to a safe location to change your GPS or review your map/directions.

The law 

Ontario's distracted driving law

 In Ontario, it's against the law to:

  • operate hand-held communication and electronic entertainment devices while you're driving
  • view display screens unrelated to your driving

Examples of hand-held devices include:

  • iPods
  • GPS and MP3 players
  • cell phones
  • smart phones
  • laptops
  • DVD players

What's hands-free?

Any device that you do not touch, hold or manipulate while driving, other than to activate or deactivate it. For example, actions such as dialing or scrolling through contacts, or manually programming a GPS device are not allowed.


You can still use hand-held devices while driving in a few cases:

  • in a vehicle pulled off the roadway or lawfully parked
  • to make a 911 call
    • transmitting or receiving voice communication on a two-way, CB or mobile radio (hand-mikes and portable radios like walkie-talkies require a lapel button or other hands-free accessory)

Please visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation for further safety information in relation to distracted driving in Ontario.      

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