TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) will continue to allow the use of handheld CBs and two-way radios until 2021.
The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) said it’s thankful for the extension, and will continue working with the Ministry to come up with a final resolution.
Handheld CBs and two-way radios were to be banned by the province, as part of legislation directed at distracted driving and the use of cell phones. The extension granted for the use of CBs and two-way radios was set to expire at the end of 2017.
“During the consultation phases three potential options for industry consideration were presented: extend the exemption for seven years; make the exemption permanent or allow the exemption to expire at the end of 2017. During the consultations with MTO over the summer several fleets and industry suppliers highlighted that hands-free technology for CB and two-way radios is available and is currently being adopted, but would need some additional time for full implementation,” the OTA reported.
For CBs and two-way radios, the exemption allows a driver to push and hold the button on a hand-held, two-way radio device when driving. The driver can push a button to talk and release it to listen, repeating as often as necessary to have a conversation. If the hands-held device is a microphone, it must be secured in, or mounted to the vehicle and within easy reach of the driver. Two-way radio, hands-free devices that are clipped to the driver’s belt or attached to his/her clothing are also exempt.
The extension will run from Jan. 1, 2018 until Jan. 1, 2021.