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Scott Thompson: ‘Phones Down, Heads Up Act’ — is it needed?

A Liberal private member’s bill was introduced on Monday at Queen’s Park proposing to charge you for crossing the road while engaged on your cellphone.
A Liberal private member’s bill was introduced on Monday at Queen’s Park proposing to charge you for crossing the road while engaged on your cellphone. Getty Images

You haven’t had to live very long to realize the hold electronic devices have on today’s society.

Distracting driving is ahead of impaired driving when it comes to fatalities on our roadways.

No one is disputing that.

So are you surprised a Liberal private member’s bill was introduced on Monday at Queen’s Park proposing to charge you for crossing the road while engaged on your device?

The “Phones Down, Heads Up Act” will fine pedestrians $50 for a first offence to $125 for a third if caught talking or texting and crossing.

Would that be known as “cross-texting?”

READ MORE: Toronto MPP proposes fines for texting while crossing the street

Critics say there is no data to support this as being a problem — it’s relatively new — and is nothing more than a cash grab.

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I’m not sure it’s about revenue generation.

It’s hard to pay a fine when you’re in hospital or dead.

The odd point in all of this is the bill would not cover people who had started a phone call before they began crossing the road, which must disqualify most, proving this is more about politics and bureaucracy than a solution.

Like distracted driving, it appears we’ll have to wait for the body count before this issue is taken seriously.

READ MORE: Peterborough residents weigh in on proposed distracted walking bill