Our Two Cents

MTO Seeks Comments on Fate of CB Radios

Back in 2013, Ontario's Ministry of Transportation created an exemption for CB radios and other hand-held push-to-talk devices under Ontario Reg. 366/09 - Display Screens and Hand-Held Devices. The regulation restricts or prohibits the use of hand-held devices such as cellular telephones, GPS systems and more while driving. That exemption is set to expire January 1, 2018.

The five-year exemption was supposed to allow for the development of some alternative to CB radios or some other way of activating the device other than the push-to-talk hand-held microphone. No such development has occurred, and we still have CB radios that operate only with hand-held push-to-talk microphones. Before the exemption officially expires, MTO is asking for public comment on how it should proceed from here.

In the absence of any further amendments to the current regulation, expiration of this exemption would prohibit the hand-held use of two-way radios for all road users (aside from law enforcement outlined in the current regulation). For this reason, the ministry is considering three options to address the expiry of the exemption.
1- Extend the exemption for hand-held use of two-way radios for an additional seven years.
2- Make the exemption permanent.
3- Allow the exemption to expire (making hand-held use of devices illegal and requiring all currently exempted drivers to use hands-free alternatives only).
The ministry invites any comments on the expiry of the exemption, as well as any additional suggestions or comments on how the ministry could minimize distracted driving while supporting economic growth and prosperity in the province.

Click on the link below to see the full official text of the comment request and to leave a comment on the Ministry's proposed possible solutions to the use of CB radios by professional drivers.

The comment period closes June 15, 2017.