Pedestrian texting ban? Ontario says nah

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TORONTO – Ontario is turning down Toronto city council’s request to ban texting and walking while crossing the street, instead dishing out a bit of common sense advice.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca says pedestrians should keep their heads up while on the road and always be aware of their surroundings.

But, he says, the Liberal government has no plans to change the Highway Traffic Act, as Toronto requested Thursday.

City council requested a province-wide ban to prohibit pedestrians from texting while on “any travelled portion of a roadway.”

In a statement, Del Duca notes that Toronto — and all municipalities — “are mature levels of government with powers to establish bylaws.”

The motion was proposed as city council discussed its road safety plan by council speaker Frances Nunziata, who says since drivers can be fined for texting while driving, pedestrians who text while walking on a road should be fined as well.