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Nunavut bans texting and driving; no penalty introduced

Using the phone while driving is now against the law in Nunavut. The law came into effect last week; the territory was the last jurisdiction in Canada to allow texting and driving.

There is currently no penalty for texting and driving

Nunavut is the last jurisdiction in Canada to ban distracted driving. (CBC)

Using your phone while driving is now against the law in Nunavut. The law came into effect last week.

The territory was the last jurisdiction in Canada to allow texting and driving.

The law prohibits people from driving while using a hand-held electronic device, but people can use the device if it's hands-free, they're pulled over, or their vehicle isn't impeding traffic.

The law doesn't apply to the driver of an emergency vehicle, and allows people to use the phone to call emergency services while driving.

People are also prohibited from from having a screen directly in their field of view. Some screens are excluded from the rule: screens built into the vehicle by the manufacturer, back-up screens, GPS, and prescribed classes of screens.

There is currently no penalty for texting and driving, but a spokesperson for Nunavut's justice department said the government is reviewing its procedures for summary offences under Nunavut's new Traffic Safety Act.

Violations under the act can carry a maximum penalty of $5,000 or up to six months in prison. Although, practically speaking, drivers caught texting and driving are likely looking at a $115 fine for careless driving until a formal penalty is implemented.

With files from Nick Murray

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