03/19/2014 06:27 EDT | Updated 05/19/2014 05:59 EDT

New Brunswick legislation prohibits hand-held device use when stopped in traffic

FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick government has introduced changes to the Motor Vehicle Act to clamp down on drivers using hand-held devices.

Public Safety Minister Bruce Northrup said Tuesday the changes will toughen earlier amendments, which prohibited the use of hand-operated electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.

The new amendments make it illegal for a driver to use such devices while operating a motor vehicle even when stopped in traffic or at a red light.

But, motorists who pull off the road and stop can use a hand-operated electronic device.

The amendments will also exempt two-way radio operators from the prohibition.

Northrup says the initial amendments in 2010 allowed ham radio operators to use a two-way radio while driving during search and rescue or emergency operations, but they will now be permitted to use them any time they're driving.