Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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II. Dealing with particular situations
Distracted driving

Commercial passenger-vehicle and school-bus drivers need to be aware of potential situations that may distract them from driving. Some distractions occur outside the bus, such as police activity, collisions, scenery or road construction.

Drivers can also be distracted by situations inside the vehicle. In particular, school-bus drivers deal with high levels of noise and activity. If a driver has to take his or her eyes off the road in order to address a behavioural issue, there is a greater risk of collision.

Even if your vehicle has driver-assistance features, you can be charged with distracted, careless or dangerous driving. You are still expected to be in care and control of your vehicle, which means you must be constantly monitoring your environment and able to take over immediate control of the vehicle.

Driving while using non-hands-free cellular phones and viewing display screens unrelated to driving is prohibited, and drivers will face fines and other penalties. In addition, drivers can be charged with careless driving or even dangerous driving (a criminal offence) if they do not pay full attention to the driving task.

Commercial drivers have a permanent exemption for the use of a two-way radio, provided the microphone is securely mounted to the vehicle within easy reach of the driver. This allows the driver to press and hold the microphone button to talk and release to listen.

Note: Bus and transit drivers have been provided with a temporary exemption allowing them to use hand-held, two-way radios until January 1, 2021.

Remember to focus on your driving at all times. A split-second distraction behind the wheel can result in injury or even death.