Canada: Appareils mobiles et conduite automobile en Ontario et au Québec

Last Updated: September 23 2018
Article by David F. Blair, Taha Qureshi and Brian Lipson

Most Read Contributor in Canada, September 2018

Appareils mobiles et conduite automobile en Ontario et au Québec

Les modifications récentes apportées au Code de la sécurité routière du Québec et les changements à venir au Code de la route de l'Ontario réglementent plus strictement l'utilisation d'appareils électroniques lors de la conduite d'un véhicule à moteur. Ces modifications, qui s'appliquent tant aux conducteurs de véhicules de promenade qu'aux conducteurs des industries du transport de marchandises et de passagers, s'inscrivent dans une tendance constante à renforcer la législation dans ce domaine. Dans cet article, nous examinons les régimes législatifs applicables en Ontario et au Québec.

L'utilisation des appareils mobiles au Québec

Le Code de la sécurité routière du Québec (« CSR  ») interdit l'utilisation d'un appareil électronique mobile ou d'un écran d'affichage, bien qu'un conducteur puisse envoyer ou recevoir des appels téléphoniques ou des messages texte avec un appareil en mode « mains libres ». Un conducteur peut également utiliser la fonction GPS de son téléphone intelligent ou d'un autre appareil, si ceux-ci sont rattachés ou intégrés au véhicule. Le conducteur est présumé utiliser l'appareil s'il le tient de quelque manière que ce soit. Par conséquent, l'usage de l'appareil portable ne doit être explicitement prouvée que si le conducteur ne tient pas l'appareil d'une quelconque manière. En cas de condamnation, les contrevenants sont passibles d'une amende de 300 $ à 600 $ pour une première infraction et l'amende minimale est doublée pour les récidivistes. Dans tous les cas, cinq points d'inaptitude sont ajoutés au dossier de conduite d'un contrevenant sur déclaration de culpabilité, sur un maximum de 15 pour un conducteur adulte typique.

Depuis le 30 juin 2018, un agent de la paix peut suspendre un permis de conduire au nom de la Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (« SAAQ »), lorsque l'agent estime que le conducteur a commis une infraction liée à l'utilisation d'un appareil électronique et que le conducteur a été reconnu coupable de la même infraction au cours des deux dernières années. La durée de la suspension est de trois, sept ou trente jours, selon le nombre de condamnations antérieures. Le CSR prévoit la révision rapide de cette suspension par un juge de la Cour du Québec, mais seulement dans le cas d'une suspension de 30 jours. Autrement, les décisions peuvent être révisées par la SAAQ, ou encore par la Cour supérieure du Québec sur demande de contrôle judiciaire, mais aucune de ses options ne permet la levée de la sanction avant l'expiration de la suspension.

L'utilisation d'appareils mobiles en Ontario

En Ontario, le Code de la route interdit l'utilisation ou la manutention d'un appareil de communication sans fil portable ou de tout autre appareil prescrit, capable de transmettre des communications téléphoniques, des données électroniques, du courrier ou des messages texte au volant. Le simple fait de tenir un téléphone ou un autre appareil en conduisant est contraire à la loi. Même une personne portant une montre intelligente ne peut l'utiliser, même si la montre n'est pas connectée à Internet ou à un téléphone portable. L'utilisation d'un appareil mains libres est possible, mais uniquement pour l'activer ou le désactiver. Un appareil sur un support, par exemple un téléphone ou un GPS, peut être utilisé tant qu'il est attaché pendant la conduite. Une condamnation en Ontario entraîne une amende de 300 $ à 1 000 $ et trois points d'inaptitude sont ajoutés au dossier du conducteur sur un nombre possible de 15 pour le conducteur avec un permis régulier.

À compter du 1er janvier 2019, l'amende minimale passera à 500 $ et les points d'inaptitude passeront de trois à six pour les récidivistes. En outre, le Code de la route prévoira la suspension du permis de conduire en cas de condamnation relative à l'usage d'appareils mobiles: trois jours pour une première infraction, sept jours pour une deuxième infraction et trente jours pour toute autre condamnation supplémentaire. Contrairement au Québec, ces modifications au Code la route en Ontario ne prévoient pas de suspension immédiate du permis de conduire. Nous notons également qu'une entente de réciprocité entre le Québec et l'Ontario relativement aux points d'inaptitude pour certaines infractions ne comprend pas actuellement les condamnations pour utilisation d'appareils mobiles, de sorte qu'un conducteur ontarien reconnu coupable au Québec ne recevra pas de points d'inaptitude en Ontario, et vice versa.

Si la constitutionnalité des suspensions de permis avant procès du Québec venait à être contestée, les tribunaux seraient de nouveau appelés à décider dans quelle mesure la présomption d'innocence en matière pénale et criminelle devrait avoir une incidence sur les procédures administratives et si le permis de conduire peut être suspendu jusqu'à trente jours sur la seule base de l'opinion d'un agent de la paix. La jurisprudence récente dans le domaine de la conduite avec facultés affaiblies laisse entendre que ces dispositions pourraient sortir indemnes d'une telle contestation. Dans la mesure où les suspensions de permis à venir en Ontario à la suite d'une condamnation et les suspensions immédiates au Québec s'appliquent pareillement aux conducteurs de véhicules personnels et commerciaux, ces suspensions de permis pourraient perturber les activités des sociétés de transport de marchandises et de passagers. Les transporteurs routiers devraient donc surveiller de près les condamnations antérieures de leurs conducteurs en ce qui concerne les appareils mobiles, en plus d'élaborer, mettre en Suvre et appliquer des politiques strictes concernant l'utilisation d'appareils mobiles au volant.

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