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Toronto MPP Wants to Fine People Who Cross the Street While Using Their Phones

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A newly proposed “distracted walking” legislation would prohibit people in Ontario from using their smartphones while crossing the street.

Yvan Baker, the Liberal MPP for Etobicoke Centre, is set to unveil the “Phones Down, Heads Up Act” on Monday as a private member’s bill. It’s worth it to note that private member’s bills rarely make it into law.

If the bill does become law, those in violation of the “Phones Down, Heads Up Act” would face a $50 fine for their first offense. From there, the fine would increase to $75 on their second offense and $125 for the third offense.

The ban wouldn’t apply if someone was using a phone to contact emergency services, or “to continue a phone call that was started before crossing the roadway.” Municipalities would be allowed to opt out of the ban if they chose.

The proposed law is supported by the Ontario Safety League, a non-profit traffic safety organization, as well as the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association. Some public polls suggest there is majority support in Canada for “distracted walking” legislation.

What do you think of the “Phones Down, Heads Up Act”? Let us know in the comments below!

[via CBC News]

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  • “to continue a phone call that was started before crossing the roadway.”

    Pretty pointless then.
    This law will not go into effect, or if it does it won’t be properly enforced.

  • Larry Gusaas

    Using a phone while crossing a street is stupid. Let survival of the fittest do its job to eliminate stupid from the gene pool.

  • My 1/2 cents

    Even though I am occasionally guilty of doing the same, I think it’s a start. Like with distracted driving, the only usual time it will be enforced is when there is a police blitz.

  • My 1/2 cents

    That’s not how society works in 1st world countries in the 21 century.

  • Daniel

    I think they’re more going after those who are texting, tweeting, fb’ing, etc — those with their head down, unaware of their surroundings. Being on a phone call, for the most part, still allows you to be aware. Personally, I don’t walk and use my iPhone at all. I have my headset to answer calls, but I don’t walk and text, etc.

  • You’d be surprised. I’m blind, and I’ve occasionally had sighted people walk right into me whilst talking on the phone (mostly in malls or on the street).

  • Gerry Lee

    It just makes you want to yank their phones out of their hands and chuck’em.

  • Chrome262

    people aren’t getting hit in cross walks, they are being hit when crossing between cars and J-walking. if you get a signal to cross its the same as on the sidewalk. if a car hits you while you are in it, they are in the wrong. Stupid waste of tax payer money.

  • Chrome262

    no you make laws for every little thing so they are babied all the way to the grave. stupid wast of time

  • Daniel

    That’s sad

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