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May 19, 2011
For immediate release
Police to step up enforcement of cell phone ban
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
Over the coming weeks, police across Prince Edward Island will be stepping up enforcement of the law banning the use of hand-held electronic communication devices while driving, says Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Ron MacKinley.
“This law has been in place for over a year, but it is still common to see drivers talking and texting on their hand-held devices,” said Minister MacKinley. “With that in mind, I’ve asked local police agencies to step up enforcement to help reinforce our message that this behaviour is not safe, and that you will be fined if caught.”
The law came into effect in January 2010. Devices covered by it include cell phones, smart-phones (BlackBerry, Iphone etc), 10-4 phones, GPS devices and laptop computers. The use of one-touch, hands-free devices is permitted as is the use of two-way radios. Emergency personnel including fire, EMS and police are exempt as are drivers who are calling 911. Drivers convicted of breaking the law face fines ranging from $250 to $400 and three demerit points.
“In the year and a half since we changed the rules for the use of cell phones while driving, police have issued 113 charges,” said Minister MacKinley. “I think that total clearly demonstrates that too many Islanders continue to ignore the law and risk their safety and the safety of other road users. “
For more information on the new law, please visit www.gov.pe.ca/cellphones.