The Ontario Legislature has passed a law banning the use of handheld devices to talk, text or e-mail while driving
. While the Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act takes effect Oct. 26, police won't start issuing tickets until Feb. 1, 2010, following a three-month education period.

Under the new rule, drivers are prohibited from holding a wireless communication device or electronic entertainment device while driving, unless the vehicle is off the traveled part of the road and not in motion. The new law does not apply to the hands-free mode.

Global positioning system navigation devices, handheld communication and similar prescribed devices, commercially-used logistical transportation tracking systems, collision avoidance systems and instruments, gauges and systems providing information regarding the status of systems of the motor vehicle are exempted from the regulation. Drivers who are caught violating the rule can face fines of up to $500 upon conviction.