TORONTO — Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty appears to have changed his mind and now thinks banning cell phones for drivers might be a good idea.
If he follows through, Ontario would be the fourth province to outlaw cell phones while driving. Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia have already passed laws prohibiting talking on the phone while behind the wheel.
According to CBC reports, McGuinty says he thinks other telematics gear — GPS units or PDAs for instance — might also fall under the provincial ban.
"I have asked [Transportation Minister Jim] Bradley to see if there is [anything] we might do [about]. I call it the next generation, which deals with distractors in general and I think in particular, electronic distractors," said McGuinty.
One of the biggest proponents of the law, Conservative John O’Toole, welcomed the cell phone ban news but as he told a radio talk show this morning, he would appeal to the Liberals to exempt commercial drivers from some of the provisions. O’Toole said whoever drafts the legislation has to be aware of the fact that truck drivers, cabbies and cops, among others, regularly use in-cab telematics to do their work.
The announcement that he would consider the ban is a change of heart for McGuinty, who six months ago said current careless driving laws are sufficient to weed out problem drivers.
Back then, he told the Toronto Star newspaper: "I guess one of the issues then becomes, so, where do we draw the line? Do we ban coffee drinking in cars?"
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