Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's busy hands while driving may have landed him in hot water once again, just months after he allegedly raised his middle finger to a motorist.
This time, another Toronto resident accused the mayor in several newspapers of illegally dialing numbers on his cellphone and talking on it as he steered his gold minivan westbound along Dundas St. W. near Spadina Ave on Monday.
Sarah Barrett, who alleges she noticed the provincial violation when she pulled up next to Ford in traffic around 2:30 p.m. ET, told the Toronto Star "he had his phone clamped onto his ear." Barrett was unequivocal about who she said the offending driver was: the man had a vanity licence plate that read "ROB FORD," she said.
The small business owner said she also tailed the minivan for some time and could see from a reflection in the other driver's rearview mirror that he was indeed talking on a cellphone.
Barrett, who said she only uses a hands-free bluetooth device to talk on the phone while in traffic, also claims to have seen the mayor use his left hand to punch in numbers on his cellphone.
"Whether he was texting or whether he was dialling, of course I wouldn’t know that. But he was doing something with the keypad where he was looking down," she told the Globe and Mail.
She said she was shocked, but decided against snapping a photo of the mayor so she wouldn't be breaking Ontario law herself by using a hand-held cellphone or other electronic device while driving. Drivers caught doing so can face up to $500 in fines.
Ford is becoming somewhat accustomed to hearing complaints from the public about his driving behaviour.
The mayor denied accusations in July that he gave the middle finger to Ottilie Mason and her six-year-old daughter after the mother accosted him for talking on his cellphone while driving.
"A story published that while I was on the phone I made a rude gesture to a fellow driver is not accurate. This is a misunderstanding," Ford wrote in a tweet.
Toronto Police said in July they would not pursue an investigation against the mayor, although his press secretary later acknowledged to some media outlets that Ford had been talking on his cellphone during that incident.