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Texting and Driving Understanding the Law and Consequences in Quebec
June 12, 2023

In today's fast-paced digital age, our smartphones have become indispensable tools that keep us connected with the world around us. But when it comes to operating a vehicle, the law is clear: the need for safety supersedes the desire to stay connected. In Quebec, the law explicitly states that texting and driving is not only perilous, but it's also illegal. In this article, we delve deeper into the specifics of this law, the potential consequences of violation, and how to responsibly navigate the intersection of connectivity and road safety.


Understanding the Law

Quebec law is unequivocal when it comes to using handheld devices while driving. It strictly prohibits drivers from holding a cell phone or other portable device that includes a telephone function while driving. This isn't limited to just texting; it encompasses making calls, checking emails, scrolling through social media, or any other form of interactive communication. This law is in effect even when the vehicle is stopped at a red light or amidst a traffic jam. Essentially, if you're in the driver's seat and the engine is running, your phone should not be in your hand.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, you are permitted to use a cell phone if it's placed in a holder affixed to the vehicle, or if you're using the hands-free function. However, it's important to note that even in these circumstances, the law requires you to use these functions "sparingly." This means any interaction with the device should not distract you from the road.


The Consequences

The repercussions of texting and driving in Quebec can be quite severe and have long-lasting impacts on both your finances and your driving record. For first-time offenders, fines can range from $300 to $600. Additionally, you'll receive five demerit points on your driving record, which can have implications for your insurance premiums.

Repeat offenders are subject to more stringent penalties. In the case of a second or subsequent offense, the minimum fine is doubled, with 5 demerit points, which may lead to a license suspension. Furthermore, a secondary cell phone ticket received within a period of two years will lead to a three-day suspension of your driver's license. Within the same two-year timeframe, a third cell phone ticket will result in a seven-day suspension. Repeat offenders who have received more than two cell phone tickets during that same period will face a suspension of 30 days.

It's important to note that in the event of a violation, your vehicle will be towed to a yard, and you'll be responsible for paying the towing and storage fees, as well as the cost of a taxi to go home. These additional expenses can add up quickly and significantly impact your finances.


Contesting a Ticket

If you believe you've received a ticket unjustly, it is possible to contest it. However, the burden of proof is on you to establish that you weren't using your device while driving. This can be a challenging process, often requiring phone records or other substantial evidence. Given the complexity of these proceedings, it's highly advisable to seek professional legal advice when contesting a ticket.


While it's crucial to understand the law and the potential consequences of violation, the best strategy to avoid a texting and driving ticket is straightforward and simple: do not text and drive. Make it a habit to keep your phone out of reach while driving. If you need to make a call or send a message, use voice commands or a hands-free system. Remember, the goal isn't just to avoid fines and penalties, but to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. At, we specialize in traffic law and have successfully contested thousands of tickets.