Toronto city council passed a motion Thursday night requesting that the provincial transportation minister consider banning the use of cellphones and other handheld devices by pedestrians walking on crosswalks and roadways.
City Councillor Josh Matlow, who voted against the motion, said he was surprised that it had passed in council. Councillor Frances Nunziata put forth the motion Thursday, but it’s not yet clear what the specifics of the proposal would look like in practice. The motion requested the Minister of Transportation consider making a regulation under the Highway Traffic Act prohibiting pedestrians from “actively using a handheld wireless communication device or handheld electronic entertainment device” while on “any travelled portion of a roadway.” Matlow said he interpreted that the motion referred to pedestrians using their phones while walking on city crosswalks and intersections, but not as far as banning the use of phones on sidewalks.
The motion carried in council by a vote of 26-15. Councillors who supported the motion included Giorgio Mammoliti, Jim Karygiannis, Denzel Minnan-Wong and even Mayor John Tory.
How would this even be enforced? Is this a case of liability in that if in a collision between a vehicle and pedestrian the pedestrian would be held partly responsible?