News Column

New road traffic bill to outlaw cell phone use while driving

January 16, 2014


THE USE of an electronic device while driving, including cellular phones, is expected to be outlawed by the end of the legislative year in March.

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr Morals Guy, said a new road traffic bill, which contains provisions dealing with the use of an electronic device while driving, would be brought to the House for passage this parliamentary year. Guy told The Gleaner that research done by the National Road Safety Council on cellular phone use while driving in Europe and the United States revealed that there was a correlation between increased motor-vehicle accidents and the use of electronic devices.

The proposed Road Traffic Act defines an electronic device as a hand-held cellular phone or a hand-held electronic device that is capable of transmitting or receiving electronic mail or other textbased messages.

The bill is trying to prevent the utilisation of the cell phone or other electronic device that might cause a distraction while driving a motor vehicle, Guy stressed.


The bill makes provision for the use of a hand-free electronic device which is affixed to the vehicle.

Guy said the bill would be referred to either a select or joint select committee of Parliament. During those deliberations, lawmakers would have the latitude to make adjustments to the provisions set out in the proposed law.

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Source: Weekly Gleaner, The (Canada)

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