An Ontario MPP’s private member’s bill proposed that pedestrians not paying attention to where or how they are walking, could be fined up to $50 for distracted walking.
It’s called the “Phones Down, Heads Up Act” and was tabled by Toronto MPP Yves Baker of Etobicoke Centre.
Baker’s bill would ban people from looking at their phones or electronic devices when crossing roads, with an initial $50 fine for the first offence, $75 for the second and up to $125 for the third. Exceptions would include pedestrians making an emergency call or if they began speaking on the phone before stepping into the crosswalk (this would be difficult to prove).
In Ontario, the OPP attributed 65 deaths in 2016 to distracted driving, which is more than impaired driving, speeding or not wearing a seat belt. While this is not distracted walking, it’s certainly along the same lines. In 2016, 42 pedestrians were killed on Toronto’s streets, the most since 2002.
Here are Goldfinger Injury Lawyers, we applaud the “Phones Down, Heads Up Act” as too often, we see people taking those so called “zombie walks” without paying attention to where they are going, or what they’re doing.
But, we have a lot of questions about the new Act, which are explored in greater detail below.
Please keep in mind that distracted walking does not only involve accidents involving pedestrians, and cars, bikes or other motorized vehicles.
People walk in to pot holes or cracks or lose their footing on account of not paying attention to where they are walking .
People walk in to lamp posts, doors, walls, guard rails, other pedestrians, parked cars and fall down stairs because they are not paying attention to where they are walking.
People slip on ice or other slick surfaces because they aren’t paying attention to where they’re walking.
You have all seen the YouTube clips before of ridiculous distracted walking incidents. Our personal injury lawyers field some of those calls.