Cell phone ban starts February

You've been warned, says London Police Services.

As of February 1, police will be cracking down on drivers who are using handheld devices while on the road.

Those caught with an electronic screen visible, such as a laptop, or a cell phone will be charged $155 - no slaps on the wrist.

“Distracted driving has been in the news for three to five years,” explained Sgt. Tom O'Brien. “There has been tons of time for warnings.”

If a driver needs to use their cell phone, they are to pull over to a parking lot. If they're on the highway, they have to be aware that when they pull over, it is a legal place to park, he added.

Bluetooth devices, speakerphones and GPS are acceptable to have in vehicles.

“As long as hands are free from buttons,” he said.

Certain exceptions apply — such as emergency response vehicles. But for the most part, everyone needs to be hands-free come the beginning of February.

“After February 1, I hope there's no surprises,” he said.