New cell phone laws take effect Jan 1

Drivers in Fort St. John have only three days to quit chatting while driving.

On January 1st, police will be enforcing a new law, which prohibits anyone from talking on their handheld device while driving.

Under the Motor Vehicle Act, drivers will be able to use hands-free cell phones that require only one touch to activate.

As of February 1, a driver talking on a hand-held phone or electronic device will be subject to a fine of $167.

Drivers caught texting or emailing will be subject to three penalty points on their license. For new drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program, there will be a full ban on using all cell phone and electronic devices, including hands-free ones.

Police, fire and ambulance personnel who may need to make calls in the performance of their duties, and motorists who need to call 9-1-1 are exempt from the legislation.

The use of two-way radios for commercial or industrial vehicles will be permitted.

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