The Distracted Driving Exemption
expires 1st January 2018 in Ontario!

David VE3EBM  has a document to send to your
local MPP.

Dear Minister:

My name is David C. Margetts and I am currently retired. I worked as Investigator with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Emergency Health Services Branch, Investigation and Regulatory Compliance section for over 25 years. I am also a licensed Amateur Radio Operator.

I was recently asked by the web manager of ( ONTario Amateur Radio Service) an Amateur Radio Website in Ontario and an Amateur Radio Communications Network for over 45 years, to address the issue of the expiry of the HTA exemption for licensed Amateur Radio Operators in respect of hand held devices while operating a motor vehicle. I produced the attached article for posting on that web site.

I have provided the article here for your edification and reading enjoyment. 
I trust you will find it informative.
You  contact me for comment or further discussion.

 Respectfully Yours

 David C. Margetts

Reply from Ministry:

Mr. Dave Margetts,  
Thank you for your e-mail regarding Ontario’s time-limited exemption for two-way radios under the distracted driving law. The Honourable Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation, has asked me to respond on his behalf.

On May 1, 2017, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) posted information on Ontario’s Regulatory Registry to solicit comments and feedback from stakeholders and the public about the exemption, with a closing date of June 15, 2017.  MTO also held consultations with stakeholders in May 2017. 

The Ministry has now reviewed all input from the consultations and from the regulatory registry. A final decision on next steps will be publically communicated in the near future, prior to the January 1, 2018 expiry of the exemption. 
Please note that a permanent hands-free alternative is provided in Section 14 of the supporting Ontario Regulation 366/09 of the Highway Traffic Act, which allows the driver to push and hold the button on a two-way radio (or push-to-talk device) to talk and release it to listen. This can be repeated as often as required to conduct a  conversation. The microphone must, however, be secured in or mounted to the vehicle and within easy reach of the driver so that the driver’s only interaction with it is to push a button to make, answer, end a call or to transmit or receive voice communication. It could also be clipped to the driver’s belt or attached to his/her clothing, such as to a lapel button.

Thank you again for your e-mail.

Ryan Bailey
Team Leader, Special Projects
Road Safety Policy Office 

From the same regulation, I provide Definitions.

Dave  VE3EBM


1. In this Regulation,

“commercial motor vehicle” has the same meaning as in section 3 of Ontario Regulation 419/15 (Definitions of Commercial Motor Vehicle and Tow Truck) made under the Act; (“véhicule utilitaire”)

“hand microphone or portable radio” means a wireless communication device, consisting of a hand-held unit that is both receiver and microphone, that is operated by a push-to-talk function on a set frequency and that allows for voice communication but not for the transmission and receipt of voice communication at the same time; (“microphone à main ou radio portative”)

“mobile data terminal” means a computerized device that is used exclusively to communicate with a dispatcher or control centre; (“terminal mobile”)

“two-way radio” means a wireless communication device, consisting of a main receiver unit and a separate hand-held microphone, that is operated by a push-to-talk function on a set frequency and that allows for voice communication but not for the transmission and receipt of voice communication at the same time. (“radio bidirectionnelle”)  O. Reg. 366/09, s. 1; O. Reg. 424/15, s. 1.

Click-copy and  paste the above letter to your MPP
By Dave VE3EBM

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