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Distracted Walking, Cycling, and Driving
#1
Edit! Since some people have insisted on dragging this discussion beyond what it was intended for (discussion of the new Distracted Driving regulations), and onto distracted walking and cycling, as well as continually using it as a platform to rant about how cars are the devil of the Earth, I have edited the title of this thread accordingly.

New Distracted Driving Laws are coming into effect.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/distracted-driving

The laws are now so severe that it appears even drinking a coffee while driving may be enough to have your vehicle impounded for 3 days.

Somewhat insanely, it's actually permissible to use a mobile phone so long as it's mounted to the dash.

The wording, I feel, is very poor (see the section about "using a Bluetooth").  I don't think this is a very organized approach to the issue and only clouds it further.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#2
(01-04-2019, 10:16 AM)Canard Wrote: New Distracted Driving Laws are coming into effect.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/distracted-driving

The laws are now so severe that it appears even drinking a coffee while driving may be enough to have your vehicle impounded for 3 days.

Somewhat insanely, it's actually permissible to use a mobile phone so long as it's mounted to the dash.

The wording, I feel, is very poor (see the section about "using a Bluetooth").  I don't think this is a very organized approach to the issue and only clouds it further.

I think it was OPP, explicitly stated that the law does not apply to drinking coffee:

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/910...olice-say/

Also, it's not a vehicle impounding, it's a license suspension.
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#3
(01-04-2019, 10:18 AM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(01-04-2019, 10:16 AM)Canard Wrote: New Distracted Driving Laws are coming into effect.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/distracted-driving

The laws are now so severe that it appears even drinking a coffee while driving may be enough to have your vehicle impounded for 3 days.

Somewhat insanely, it's actually permissible to use a mobile phone so long as it's mounted to the dash.

The wording, I feel, is very poor (see the section about "using a Bluetooth").  I don't think this is a very organized approach to the issue and only clouds it further.

I think it was OPP, explicitly stated that the law does not apply to drinking coffee:

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/910...olice-say/

Also, it's not a vehicle impounding, it's a license suspension.
OPP doesn't write law. They only enforce the law like any other municipal police officer.  Bottom line, if you are drinking a coffee or eating and it appears to the investigating officer that this action caused you do be distracted,i.e. you are swerving within your lane, you drive through an intersection without stopping for a stop sign, then you can be charged.
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#4
(01-04-2019, 10:47 AM)Rainrider22 Wrote: OPP doesn't write law. They only enforce the law like any other municipal police officer.  Bottom line, if you are drinking a coffee or eating and it appears to the investigating officer that this action caused you do be distracted,i.e. you are swerving within your lane, you drive through an intersection without stopping for a stop sign, then you can be charged.

Interesting situation. I would say that the act of drinking a coffee by itself should not constitute distracted driving; but if one drives through a stop sign because of it, then how is it not distracted driving? But on the other hand, who cares why the driver missed the stop sign (unless it was something unavoidable)? There is a separate offense for that, no need to pile on because it was coffee-related.
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#5
I would assume that the same new laws apply to cyclists. I see a lot of cyclists holding there phone as well as riding with 2 earbuds.
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#6
(01-04-2019, 12:27 PM)creative Wrote: I would assume that the same new laws apply to cyclists. I see a lot of cyclists holding there phone as well as riding with 2 earbuds.

Riding with earbuds is entirely legal, and also, less isolating than driving with the windows up and blower and/or radio on.

As for holding a phone, sure, lots of cyclists do that, when's the last time a cyclist ran down and killed someone while distracted?

So tired of this focus on "fairness" over reducing harm.
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#7
(01-04-2019, 12:27 PM)creative Wrote: I would assume that the same new laws apply to cyclists. I see a lot of cyclists holding there phone as well as riding with 2 earbuds.

The text of the page Canard linked doesn't mention cycling at all so it's hard to say with high accuracy but there are a few hints. It uses the phrase "behind the wheel" several times and refers to getting into cars. The penalties are all connected to license (full license holders get demerit points, graduated license holders get suspensions).

The Distracted Driving FAQs use the phrase "a driver of a motor vehicle".

Lastly, the Highway Traffic Act (available for download as a Word file from the MTO) explicitly defines driver
Quote:“driver” means a person who drives a vehicle on a highway; (“conducteur”)

As such I believe that these laws apply specifically to drivers of motor vehicles and not operators of bicycles. I am also not a lawyer, politician, police officer or anyone else with specific experience or knowledge.
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#8
(01-04-2019, 12:09 PM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(01-04-2019, 10:47 AM)Rainrider22 Wrote: OPP doesn't write law. They only enforce the law like any other municipal police officer.  Bottom line, if you are drinking a coffee or eating and it appears to the investigating officer that this action caused you do be distracted,i.e. you are swerving within your lane, you drive through an intersection without stopping for a stop sign, then you can be charged.

Interesting situation. I would say that the act of drinking a coffee by itself should not constitute distracted driving; but if one drives through a stop sign because of it, then how is it not distracted driving? But on the other hand, who cares why the driver missed the stop sign (unless it was something unavoidable)? There is a separate offense for that, no need to pile on because it was coffee-related.

You are correct however, once an officer makes the determination to commence proceedings under the distracted driving statute, which they would be in their right, the defendant would now be subject to the new penalties...
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#9
(01-04-2019, 12:45 PM)robdrimmie Wrote:
(01-04-2019, 12:27 PM)creative Wrote: I would assume that the same new laws apply to cyclists. I see a lot of cyclists holding there phone as well as riding with 2 earbuds.

The text of the page Canard linked doesn't mention cycling at all so it's hard to say with high accuracy but there are a few hints. It uses the phrase "behind the wheel" several times and refers to getting into cars. The penalties are all connected to license (full license holders get demerit points, graduated license holders get suspensions).

The Distracted Driving FAQs use the phrase "a driver of a motor vehicle".

Lastly, the Highway Traffic Act (available for download as a Word file from the MTO) explicitly defines driver
Quote:“driver” means a person who drives a vehicle on a highway; (“conducteur”)

As such I believe that these laws apply specifically to drivers of motor vehicles and not operators of bicycles. I am also not a lawyer, politician, police officer or anyone else with specific experience or knowledge.

You are correct, the legislation is for persons operating a motor vehicle on a highway.  Not on private property.
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#10
(01-04-2019, 10:16 AM)Canard Wrote: New Distracted Driving Laws are coming into effect.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/distracted-driving

The laws are now so severe that it appears even drinking a coffee while driving may be enough to have your vehicle impounded for 3 days.

The new law is actually far narrower than that page makes it appear. It's really conflating two different things. It says "Other activities like eating, reading or typing a destination into a GPS are also dangerous when you’re behind the wheel." which is true, they are dangerous, but it doesn't say the constitute distracted driving or that they're covered under the new law. 

The new law is actually just section 78/78.1 in https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90h0...1%29#BK140 . It talks about car display screens and about hand-held wireless communication and entertainment devices, aka cellphones and tablets. Being charged with careless driving if you're swerving all over the road from drinking a coffee hasn't changed.
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#11
As a cyclist, you must share the road with others (e.g., cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, etc.). Under Ontario's Highway Traffic Act ( HTA ), a bicycle is a vehicle, just like a car or truck. Cyclists: must obey all traffic laws.Apr 18, 2018
Bicycle Safety - MTO - Ontario.ca
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/...fety.shtml
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#12
What a creative interpretation! Big Grin
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#13
(01-04-2019, 01:24 PM)creative Wrote: As a cyclist, you must share the road with others (e.g., cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, etc.). Under Ontario's Highway Traffic Act ( HTA ), a bicycle is a vehicle, just like a car or truck. Cyclists: must obey all traffic laws.Apr 18, 2018
Bicycle Safety - MTO - Ontario.ca
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/...fety.shtml

It is a vehicle, but not a motor vehicle.
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#14
“a bicycle is a vehicle, just like a car or truck.”

I’m all for the new distracted driving laws. They just need to apply to all. Twice last summer, while cycling, I was almost t-boned by a distracted cyclist. I also walk a lot in the summer and am constantly having close encounters with distracted cyclists riding on the sidewalk.
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#15
(01-04-2019, 01:56 PM)creative Wrote: “a bicycle is a vehicle, just like a car or truck.”

I’m all for the new distracted driving laws. They just need to apply to all. Twice last summer, while cycling, I was almost t-boned by a distracted cyclist. I also walk a lot in the summer and am constantly having close encounters with distracted cyclists riding on the sidewalk.

no it isn't for the purpose of Criminal Driving offences and Rule of the road under the Ontario Highway traffic act. A bicycle is a vehicle but not a motor vehicle.... big difference.  You can ride a bicycle if you are a suspended driver which is a vehicle, not a motor vehicle.  A garden tractor is a motor vehicle as an example, you cant operate it even on private property if you are suspended for a criminal code violation...
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