Rob Ford denies driving past open streetcar doors
Mayor says his car was well behind tram's front doors when TTC staffer 'accosted' him
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford insists he didn't commit a downtown driving faux-pas last week, after a TTC streetcar operator admonished him for allegedly cruising past the tram's open doors.
The Globe and Mail reports that during an impromptu briefing with reporters on Tuesday, Ford conceded that although he did drive past the streetcar's rear doors, he stopped his car behind the open front doors.
Ford said the rear doors were closed the entire time.
According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, drivers, cyclists and people on horseback are not permitted to overtake a stationary streetcar "or approach nearer than 2 metres measured back from the rear or front entrance or exit" until passengers exiting or entering the streetcar have either safely boarded or made it to the side of the street.
The rule applies when the streetcar is taking on or discharging passengers.
Under the act, offenders can be fined up to $109.
On Tuesday, Ford denied assertions by Bob Kinnear, head of the union representing TTC workers, that he passed open doors in last Wednesday's incident.
'The driver came out and accosted me'
"I didn't drive by the streetcar doors," Ford said, according to The Globe and Mail.
"I went past the back door, the front doors were open … the driver came out and accosted me."
Ford said the streetcar driver came out of the vehicle and approached his car at Dundas Street near McCaul Street. In his statement during the scrum, he referred to the streetcar as a "bus."
"I don’t know exactly what was said. He [the streetcar driver] says, ‘Get behind the bus.’ I don’t have to get behind the bus, the back door’s closed," The Globe and Mail quoted Ford as saying.
According to the newspaper, a TTC spokesman said the streetcar driver who confronted the mayor was reminded that he is not supposed to leave his seat to speak with drivers, but was not disciplined.