Electronic device use while driving guidelines updated
The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General has recently released updated guidelines for permitted and non-permitted electronic devices and uses while driving. The guidelines were updated in part due to the ministry’s discussions with our industry’s professional association (PIABC) regarding the tools of our industry and how our industry’s needs can be reconciled with the need to reduce distracted driving.
There is still a complete ban on holding any electronic communication or computing device in your hands while driving, whether you are actively using it or not, using your hands to operate any electronic device or watching the screen of any such device. Hand-free use of electronic devices is permitted as long as the device is securely attached to the vehicle or to the driver’s body and is within easy reach for the driver. Hands-free use is defined as either involving voice-activation or only one (easy) touch for activation.
The updated guidelines provide examples of electronic devices commonly used by the public (cell phones, audio players, and navigation systems) and devices used by industry (hand microphones, two-way radios, and mobile data terminals) and explain whether or how these can be used while driving. Interestingly, the guidelines do not specifically address cameras – the one device usually associated with our industry, but applying the general regulations camera use appears to be permitted as long as the camera is securely attached to the vehicle or to the driver’s body and is activated prior to the start of driving or with only one (easy) touch.
At FSG we are always on the lookout for new technology that can assist us with doing the best job for our clients, hence our adoption of a secure online portal for assignment management. However, any new technology considered, particularly technology with safety implications, first goes through a careful review and then, if adopted, is subject to clear operating guidelines that ensure our operatives are using the technology in a safe and legal manner.