Ontario’s distracted driving law Bill 118 just got a big kick towards the curb thanks to a decision by a provincial court judge in the case of a woman who police had charged with “holding” her cellphone while stopped at a red light.
Now I don’t know whether this woman was just holding or talking or texting but the judge decided that she was just holding the cellphone and that holding a cellphone didn’t contravene Bill 118.
The really good news here is according to The Toronto Star is the ruling is binding on Ontario justices of the peace who hear similar Highway Traffic Act cases.
The even better news is you can bet everyone caught with a cellphone in their hands will be claiming that they were only holding it.
It comes down to the police officer’s word against the motorist’s and there is no inherent presumption that a cop’s word is more truthful than the ordinary citizen’s ( …as proved in a recent case where Toronto detectives were convicted of falsifying their notes in some cases).
Now I have long held that just holding a microphone and talking into it does not constitute a danger to myself or my fellow motorists. I have never seen someone talking into a microphone while driving swerve while driving or sit a traffic light that’s turned green or loose situational awareness.
On the other hand I’ve seen cellphone users do all of the above…often.
Texting while driving is dangerous. Talking isn’t IMHO. Bill 118 is likely going to become unenforceable because it was poorly thought-out legislation in the first place and now with this court decision it is effectively dead.
As I grow older I’m more afraid of age-impairment being a greater danger to all of us on our roadways as I and my fellow Baby Boomers roar into our sixties and seventies.
BTW did this thought ever P.O. some old sparks the last time I suggested it. Sorry guys but you aren’t getting better just older.
It’s a sad fact but we may not have too many solar cycles left to enjoy. Better go out and buy that electric scooter while you still can swing a leg over the seat.