New Brunswick

N.B. cellphone driving ban starts Monday

New Brunswick motorists will have to let the cellphone go to voicemail while they drive, starting on Monday.
A new ban on cellphone use while driving comes into effect in New Brunswick on Monday. (CBC)

New Brunswick motorists will have to let the cellphone go to voicemail while they drive, starting Monday.

That's when the province's distracted driving legislation comes into effect.

The Progressive Conservative government passed the new law in December which prohibits the use of hand-held cell phones and the manual programming of GPS systems while driving.

Drivers who break the law will have to pay $172.50 in addition to losing three points from their license.

Motorist Colleen Mackenzie said most people seem ready for the new law.

"Everybody's talking about it even though a lot of people don't like it," she said.

"Strangers I don't even know bring it up to me. I'll have my cellphone out and they'll say: 'You know, the ban's coming up,' and I say 'Yes, I'm aware of it.'"

New Brunswick motorists could be fined as of Monday for using a cellphone while driving. ((CBC))
New Brunswick drivers will be allowed to talk on hands-free cellphones while driving, or regular cellphones to report an emergency or to call 911.

The new legislation allows cellphone use by police, fire, and ambulance staff while on duty.

New Brunswick is one of the last provinces to impose rules on cellphones while driving.

Nova Scotia brought in its cellphone ban in April 2008. As of January 2011, officials had issued close to 8,000 tickets. Similar laws have been in effect in Prince Edward Island since 2010.