An article on the Toronto Sun website written by Shawn Jeffords captivated my attention today. The article addresses the potential passing of a law in Toronto which will fine individuals walking and carelessly texting.
A vote was issued last Thursday by Councillors who requested that the Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation will consider banning the use of cellphones or handheld entertainment devices on “any travelled roadway”.
Frances Nunziata, the speaker who suggested the potential fine to Toronto’s Road Safety Plan, failed to receive support from councillors who apparently found the clause entertaining. The law has yet to pass, however I do believe it will be interesting to witness the outcome of the proposition.
While the fine may seem mildly ludicrous initially, it has substantial reasoning behind it. Consider the amount of persons you see on a daily basis walking throughout a city or across a road with their face buried in their phone. It is irresponsible and arguably dangerous, specifically because the careless actions of the individual making use of a cell phone could impact a person totally unaffiliated with their careless behaviour. If a person texting and walking happens to cross in front of a moving vehicle, it is likely that the operator of the vehicle would be charged for careless driving. Meanwhile, the person exercising use of a cellphone is not accused of being careless, and is instead the victim in such circumstance despite the incident being a direct result of their actions.
I am unsure if this law will pass, though I believe it has potential. It is unfortunate that a law has to be composed to address the issue of persons texting and walking irresponsibly, though it does not surprise me that one has been developed. I imagine more laws such as this will become prominent in large cities because of the tremendous societal dependence on technology.