As a newcomer in Canada, I never thought that wearing earphones has serious implication related to “distracted driving” but it is and is considered no laughing matter.
Recently, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has reminded the public that you can be fined for wearing earphones while you’re driving. A driver can be fined $1500, along with four (4) demerit points.
This rule applies in these Canadian provinces, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and New Brunswick.
Although many drivers are not aware of this rule which is aimed at reducing the impact of distracted driving, the use of electronic devices had involved more collisions than impaired driving (driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis across the country).
If you must use earphones while driving, it is legally allowed to only wear one earpiece when using a hands-free electronic device so that you can still hear what’s going on outside your vehicle. Therefore, it is strictly prohibited to wear earphones in both ears.
This is particularly relevant when you hear an ambulance or fire engine truck coming behind you. You will notice that when this happens, all cars pull up onto the side of the road and come to a halt to clear the entire road for these emergency vehicles.
It is the driver’s responsibility to be completely aware of the electronic device regulations. Drivers who don’t pay attention to local road rules bring a huge danger to other motorists. Deaths caused by distracted driving keep on increasing hence the recent clampdown.
Canada’s impaired and distracted driving law was known as one of the strongest in the world. RCMP is also cracking down another potentially distracting activity which includes eating or drinking while driving. This serves a big reminder for every driver that they are being watched anytime they hit the road. Being a responsible driver in Canada not only saves you from getting into trouble soon after you’ve arrived, but also helps keep the cost of your car insurance to a minimum, and save many lives including your own!