Toronto Drivers Appear To Defy Hands-Free Law - ehMac.ca
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Old May 10th, 2010, 05:25 PM   #1
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Toronto Drivers Appear To Defy Hands-Free Law

Almost 4,400 drivers ticketed for cellphones, MP3 players - thestar.com.

Toronto police say a policy of “absolutely no tolerance” has resulted in more than 4,000 tickets for drivers using cellphones and other handheld devices in just three months.

On Feb. 1, police began issuing $155 tickets to drivers caught talking on phones, text messaging or using devices such as laptop computers, video players and MP3 players.

By April 30, they had fined 4,397 motorists in the city, with 296 of those charges relating to use of devices other than phones.

... What’s more, if a driver challenges the ticket in court, a judge has the discretion to raise the fine to as much as $500.

“There is absolutely no tolerance — zero,” said Burrows
.


Those must be awfully important phone calls and text messages people are engaging in while driving in exchange for sacrificing $155 from their bank account...

Good on police for taking the strong initiative in enforcing this law.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #2
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What’s more, if a driver challenges the ticket in court, a judge has the discretion to raise the fine to as much as $500.
This part is disturbing. You shouldn't have to fear an increase in the fine just because you are contesting the charge.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #3
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This part is disturbing. You shouldn't have to fear an increase in the fine just because you are contesting the charge.
I would agree if the main goal of the legislation was safety or if there was any indication that the enforcers were at all interested in preserving the rights of the accused. However clearly this is also cash cow legislation and one cannot expect the justice system to care if one of their victims is robbed unfairly. Safety benefits are not considered relevant here.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #4
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Those must be awfully important phone calls and text messages people are engaging in while driving in exchange for sacrificing $155 from their bank account...
I'm going to qualify this first by saying that my car has Bluetooth built-in so I can make and take calls hands-free by touching a button my my steering wheel.

But yeah. Some of those calls are worth a lot more that $155 to me. I'll pay the fine.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #5
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IBut yeah. Some of those calls are worth a lot more that $155 to me. I'll pay the fine.
Agreed. I can think of more than a few calls where that's the case for me too.

I'm also more than a little skeptical about the claims for the need for such a legislation. On the surface, it seems to make sense, but from what I've seen the empirical evidence is not there. The rates for car accidents have steadily declined as cell phone use has sharply increased, and banning talking and driving hasn't resulted a decrease in traffic accidents after the ban.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #6
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I see at least 4-5 drivers a day talking hands free. I'm surprised they've only dished out 4,400 tickets to date. I feel that it is a good start to getting people to pay more attention to the road. I don't think it's a big solution by any means, but I don't think it can hurt either. Now if they'd just make people redo their driving tests periodically they might be able to actually get some of the worst drivers off the road... you know the ones, the ones that don't need to be talking or texting on a cell phone to suck at driving.

I also agree with Macfury in concept, but in reality this is not very much different than many other offences ... judges do generally have the discretion to up a fine amount for many many things if you contest them and lose, depending on what happens during that defence.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 08:24 PM   #7
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My beef with this legislation is that drivers can be charged for an offense they may not even be committing. In the end it comes down to their word vs. the officers word and the judge can penalize them for complaining. Way to go Ontario!
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Old May 10th, 2010, 08:36 PM   #8
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My beef with this legislation is that drivers can be charged for an offense they may not even be committing. In the end it comes down to their word vs. the officers word and the judge can penalize them for complaining. Way to go Ontario!
And this is different than the seatbelt law how? If an officer says they saw you not wearing a seatbelt you get the ticket, end of story. Not saying I agree with it, just saying again that this is not something unique to this new law ...
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:08 PM   #9
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I'd love to see it. Now if they can get all the other bad drivers off the road I'll be happy. Especially the ones who merge at 80 then go right to the passing lane and do 95. Can we do something about them?
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:33 PM   #10
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This part is disturbing. You shouldn't have to fear an increase in the fine just because you are contesting the charge.
ya, thats just terrible, and i would think unconstitutional.
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