Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre, will announce Monday his introduction of a Private Member’s Bill to strengthen road safety.
The Phones Down, Heads Up Act would, if passed, prevent pedestrians from using phones or electronic devices when crossing roadways. The bill would also require a Ministry of Transportation led annual campaign to raise awareness on distracted driving, with a focus on texting and driving.
After months of work, the bill is being tabled Monday in response to concerns raised by constituents and experts regarding distracted pedestrians. A 2015 report by Toronto Public Health concluded that inattentive pedestrians were more susceptible to a collision than attentive pedestrians. As well, a 2010 report by the Chief Coroner of Ontario found that seven per cent of pedestrian fatalities involved distracted pedestrians using mobile phones or MP3 players, and recommended the development of educational programs targeting pedestrians who are distracted when crossing roadways.
The Phones Down, Heads Up Act would, if passed, directly address the issue of distracted pedestrians by raising awareness about the need to be attentive while crossing roadways.
“Toronto is already one of the worst cities in North America when it comes to traffic. With winter quickly approaching, road conditions can make it difficult to stop. Experts tell us that if you are alert, you are less likely to get hurt. I would like pedestrians to be aware of the risks of crossing the road while distracted by phones and other electronic devices. My bill would strengthen road safety by encouraging pedestrians and drivers to keep each other safe.”
- Yvan Baker, MPP Etobicoke Centre
“The legislation purposed addresses a serious need for change. It focuses on the risky behaviour allowing for education and enforcement. It is consistent with the evolution of safety in the province of Ontario.”
- Brian J. Patterson, President and CEO, Ontario Safety League
“On behalf of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, we commend MPP Baker for raising awareness to what is an increasingly important public safety issue. We believe this initiative complements our focus on the safety and well-being of children in our Catholic school system.”
- Patrick J. Daly, President, Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association
For more information, please contact:
OR: Cynthia Antony
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