Friday, October 24, 2008

Ontario Cell Phone Driving Ban Ahead?

City News reports that legislation will be introduced in Ontario's Provincial Legislature next week to ban cell phone use while driving in Ontario:

It's not clear yet what will be in the legislation, expected to be brought out for first reading by Transport Minister Jim Bradley, but there are reports it will prohibit all use of phones by drivers in this province, with the possible excepttion of hand's-free devices.

The legislation, which will fall under the Highway Traffic Act, comes after the Premier issued a major reveral on the issue. In November 2007, the suggestion of a cell phone ban for those behind the wheel had beencompletely rejected by Dalton McGuinty. But he suddenly changed his mind in a public pronouncement last May, admitting he was mulling over the idea.

"I know what they've done in other provinces and other states: they've just dealt with one item, the cellphone," he mused back then. "I talk to the police and they say you could deal with one item, but there's more than just one item (distracting drivers). I've asked Bradley to take a look to see if there's something we might do, which deals with distractors generally, and I think in particular, electronic distractors."

(h/t - Tamara E.)

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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Aditya Iyer said...

Cellular phones are just one of the distractions to drivers. While they are at it, they should also consider banning children in cars. There have been so many instances where I have had to honk at parents making careless left turns and unnecessary stops at lights, all while minding their children.

How about food, cigarettes, coffee, talkative passengers, ipods, radios, car stereo, windshield wipers, turning signal stalks - cellphones are just a drop in the sea of distractions.

It is a useless law.

Anonymous said...

My concern is that they're also planning on banning GPS. Is having a map open on your lap, while frantically trying to make out street signs from a block away, really better than a GPS that tells you that your turn is coming up, how soon, and which way to turn?

Anonymous said...

maybe reading the actual bill would help:

GPS are allowed. no screens that aren't directly related to the task of driving (video games and movies) can be visible to the driver.

cell phones are allowed only if used hands-free.

emergency service workers can use communications devices, and it's allowed if you're calling emergency services