What is the law on using your mobile phone while driving In Trinidad and Tobago?

Due to the number of accidents that are related to cell phone use while driving, some countries have made the use of a cell phone while driving illegal- Trinidad and Tobago is one of those countries. 

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According to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic (Mobile Devices) Regulations in the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act:

No person shall drive or have charge of a motor vehicle, on any road while holding or using a hand-held mobile device.

This means once you are driving you should not have your hands on your cell phone. A person who does is liable to a fine of $1000TT according to item no. 88 in the First Schedule of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Enforcement and Administration) Act.
If this $1000TT fine is not paid within the time specified on the ticket, proceedings will commence in the Magistrate’s Court and the offender will be liable on a summary conviction to a fine of $1500TT or imprisonment for three months – according to regulation no 4. in the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic (Mobile Devices) Regulations in the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act

The regulations go on to say that:

No person shall supervise the holder of a provisional permit if the person supervising is using a hand-held device.

This means if you are supervising a person who is driving with a provisional permit, you cannot use a mobile device while the person you are supervising is driving. A person who does is liable to a fine of $1000TT according to item no. 89 in the First Schedule of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Enforcement and Administration) Act.
If this $1000TT fine is not paid within the time specified on the ticket, proceedings will commence in the Magistrate’s Court and the offender will be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $1500TT or imprisonment for three months – according to regulation no 5. in the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic (Mobile Devices) Regulations in the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act.

HOWEVER, a person can use a mobile device while driving a motor vehicle or supervising a person driving with a provisional permit IF THE MOBILE DEVICE IS IN HANDS FREE MODE.

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In terms of texting and typing on your phone while driving, the regulations state:

No person shall use a device to view, send or compose an electronic message while driving or having charge of a motor vehicle.

NoTexting

This means you cannot compose and/or send electronic messages such as text or Whatsapp messages while driving a motor vehicle. A person who does is liable to a fine of $1000TT according to item no. 90 in the First Schedule of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Enforcement and Administration) Act.
If this $1000TT fine is not paid within the time specified on the ticket, proceedings will commence in the Magistrate’s Court and the offender will be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $1500TT or imprisonment for three months – according to regulation no 7. in the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic (Mobile Devices) Regulations in the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act

These regulations do not apply if the motor vehicle is
(1) Off the roadway or you are lawfully parked on the roadway
(2) Not in motion
(3) Not in impeding traffic.
So before putting your mobile device in your hands while you are behind the wheel make sure you are satisfying these three things.

And just for added knowledge you should know that these regulations do NOT apply to: the driver of an ambulance, fire service or police service vehicle.

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