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No Fine for Passenger Cell Phone Use

Suzy Woltmann Suzy Woltmann
8th August 2020
No Fine for Passenger Cell Phone Use
Drivers can be fined for using a cell phone, but not if their passenger does (Getty Images).

The Claim

A new Canadian law means that drivers can be fined $1,500 if one of their passengers uses a cell phone.

Emerging story

In early July 2020, news site Canada Eh reported that “Canadians can be fined $1,500 if their passenger is using a mobile phone.” The article was shared by users on social media, who expressed their offense and disbelief at the ostensible law.

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation found that the claim is false. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the penalties for a driver using a cell phone ranges from $280-$615 for a first offense, so it seems very unlikely that they would charge a larger fine for passenger use of a cell phone. 

Canada Drives says that passengers “are permitted to use their smartphones for talking, texting, reading, navigating, watching videos, and more while you drive. However, if the driver is deemed to be distracted by the passenger in any way—including talking to the passenger—authorities can issue a warning or a fine.”

Further, although it alleges to be a Canadian news site, Canada Eh is actually run by people in Kosovo. It is believed to be a fake news site.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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