It may seem harmless to use hands-free earphones while driving, since it's assumably a safer way to chat on the road compared to physically holding a cellphone up to one's ear. However, such isn't really the case, and there's a chance that you could be slapped with a pretty hefty fine if you're caught doing it.
The RCMP explains that there's an acceptable manner for wearing earphones while driving, and many Canadians may not have been aware of it before. In a tweet released by the organization's BC division last summer, the organization stated that drivers are allowed to drive with only one earbud in an ear. Those caught with both earbuds in their ears could be given a $368 fine and up to four demerit points:
Having both earbuds in while driving is a hazard as it removes the driver's awareness of background noise, which is important to pay attention to while on the road. That said, if you must use earphones while driving, you can only have one bud in an ear so that you can still hear what's going on outside your vehicle.
The phone which the earphones are attached to must also be stowed away in the driver's pocket or securely mounted to the car using a special cellphone holder.
The law is part of an initiative to reduce distracted driving, which causes more collisions than impaired driving across the country. Another potentially distracting activity includes eating while driving, which the RCMP is also cracking down on.
This law is listed under The Motor Vehicle Act, in Part 3.1 under driving while using an electronic device.
For more on distracted driving laws in Canada, check out the following links:
- Ontario's New Driving Laws Will Mean Automatic Suspension Of Driver's Licences For Distracted Driving
- Here's What Counts As Distracted Driving Under Ontario's New Driving Laws
- The RCMP Reminds Canadians That You Can Be Fined For Eating While Driving
- The OPP Will No Longer 'Let You Off With A Warning' If You're Caught Distracted Driving