Monday, February 13, 2006

Ontario Liberal Party Doesn't Want to Ban Something

I was as shocked as you.

Progressive Conservative MPP, John O'Toole (Durham), is once again planning to enter a private member's bill at Queen's Park to ban cellphone use while driving, citing many cases where their use was believed to be instrumental in car crashes:
"Driving while using a hand-held cellphone in 99 per cent of the cases constitutes a risk to yourself and others," said O'Toole, who first introduced the bill in 1998.
There's no question that performing any activity (except actually driving) while driving constitutes a risk, but I don't think it's riskier behaviour than say changing radio stations or chatting with your passenger.

I don't think people should be banned from using cell phones while driving and current laws that give police the discretion to pull someone over while driving dangerously is sufficient. Even though it is clear, in some cases, that improper use of a cell phone while driving has led to tragedy, I don't think banning them is going to stop somebody from using it.

Now, to the interesting part - I agree with the provincial Liberals. In the midst of the Ontario government believing someone's breed of dog is a danger to others, and that gun collectors should be punished for the actions of criminals, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty doesn't think a cellphone ban for drivers is necessary:
"I'm not convinced that we need to ban them in Ontario. I understand there's a law on the books that has to do with dangerous driving and the like. We can't have a law for everything," Premier Dalton McGuinty said Tuesday.

...

"My advice to Ontarians is: if you're using a cell phone when you're driving, be careful. Act responsibly, be sensible and take the necessary measures to protect yourself and others on the road," McGuinty said.
Act responsibly.

Be sensible.

Take the necessary measures to protect yourself and others.

Is it a breakthrough for personal responsibility becoming the framework for Ontario law? That those individuals actually committing wrongdoing are the ones punished, and not the people who act responsibly?

Nah ... it's got to be a fluke.

[Quotes from Toronto Star, No need to ban cellphone use by drivers: Premier]

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