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Ontario private member’s road safety bill would ban texting while crossing roads

October 30, 2017   by The Canadian Press

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Photo copyright: An Ontario provincial legislator says he will introduce a so-called “zombie bill” that would target distracted walking.

Liberal Yvan Baker says the bill – called the Phones Down, Heads Up Act – would impose fines for anyone caught using their cellphone or any electronic device while crossing the street.

Related: “Safe texting zone” bill gets second reading in Ontario

Baker says if the private member’s bill becomes law, it would increase road safety by encouraging pedestrians to put down their electronic devices or risk fines ranging from $50 for a first offence to $125 for a third offence.

The only exceptions would be when pedestrians are calling emergency services or when they’re continuing a phone call that started before crossing the roadway.

Baker says municipalities across Ontario would have the ability to opt-out of the law.

Rising pedestrian deaths have prompted other jurisdictions in the world to pass laws targeting distracted walking.

Earlier this month, Honolulu, Hawaii, became the first U.S. city to ban people from texting or using other digital devices while crossing roads.

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This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.