Doesn’t Toronto Mayor Know That “Talking On A Phone Is Worse Than Driving Drunk”?

by Gaurav Kheterpal on August 1, 2011

First things first, I’d like to mention that I have zero tolerance for technology abuse, especially when it comes to smartphones. Whether its texting while driving or drunk driving, I strongly believe that these should be punishable offences with no exceptions. In fact, I believe that celebrities and public personalities should be punished more severely to set a precedent.

While Justin Bieber lent his support to the ‘stop texting while driving’ campaign, on the other hand, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was caught talking on his cellphone while behind the wheel. What’s worse, a woman accused him of giving her and her six-year-old daughter the finger after she pulled up beside his van and gave him a thumbs down because he was talking on his phone while driving.

On this part, Ford admitted Tuesday to dialing and driving, but denied he gave the woman and her daughter the middle finger. Unfortunate as it is, the ‘finger’ controversy has overshadowed the larger issue – doesn’t the Toronto Mayor know that talking on a phone is worse than driving drunk? Isn’t this turning into a classic case of “Practice before you preach”?

Toronto police say they are not retroactively pursuing charges for cellphone driving because it eats up resources. The Police department says they are giving equal treatment to the mayor as no charges have been pursued against other motorists who admitted to doing so. Well, that’s a good one! What’s next – murder someone, admit it and get away with it? For what it’s worth, using a cellphone while driving is an illegal offence in Ontario and it’s been in effect since October 2009.

The police say they have been working hard to make the streets safer, cracking down and laying fines to those who disobey. However, if you can escape the law simply by admitting to using a cellphone while driving, it defeats the purpose of laying down the rules. Police say they pursue such cases only in special circumstances, such as a life-threatening incident. So, should people be allowed to get away with such incidents until they make it into a deadly situation?

A CityNews report claims that Ford may have repeated the illegal action on Wednesday afternoon.

“I can’t drive – I can’t talk to you now because I’m driving, I gotta let you go,” Ford told Maurie Sherman from Kiss 92.5. “I can’t talk, bud. I’m going to get a ticket. Sorry. I’ll call you back.”

Ford admitted to calling while driving, but not to flipping off his fellow driver. He maintains that the whole flipped finger episode is a misunderstanding. In his defense, press secretary Adrienne Batra said

“Yes, he admitted he was on his cell phone. He is a very busy guy. The phone is ringing constantly.”

Am I a busy man? I think so. Should that be a good enough reason for me to get around the law? I don’t think so. I strongly believe that laws should be laws and it should apply to everyone whether it is the mayor or you or me. What do you think? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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