Vancouver city councillor eyes ban on texting while in walking in crosswalks, roadways
Geoff Meggs said he would support what Toronto is moving to do — a ban on texting while crossing the road
As the city of Toronto moves towards putting a ban on using a cellphone while walking in crosswalks and on roadways, a Vancouver city councillor says he would like to see a similar moratorium here.
Toronto city council passed a motion July 14 to ask Ontario's transportation minister for a ban, but were later told that the city has the power to pass their own municipal bylaw.
A similar ban in Vancouver would be supported by Geoff Meggs, who told B.C. Almanac that it "makes common sense."
"We drop really hard on drivers who text while they're driving. I think people in the roadway should not be texting, they should be paying attention to traffic."
Vancouver aiming to reduce fatalities
Meggs said the city has set a goal to reduce pedestrian fatalities to zero, through a variety of measures and interventions.
He said a ban on using phones while crossing the street could be added to the measures the city has already put in place, which include reduced speed limits in certain areas in the city where there have historically been a high number of pedestrian fatalities.
"It should be included in the current work that staff is doing to try and eliminate pedestrian fatalities and injuries," he said. "It seems obvious to me."
In Toronto, city councillor Frances Nunziata introduced the motion to request the minister of transportation amend the Highway Traffic Act to prohibit pedestrians from texting while using any travelled portion of the roadway.
The motion passed 26-15, but the province's transportation minister Steven Del Duca said he had no plans to change the Highway Traffic Act as Toronto requested.
The city was later told that it does not need permission from the province to pass a municipal bylaw banning texting while walking and Coun. Nunziata said Toronto city staff will be exploring their options around implementing a municipal bylaw.
With files from CBC's B.C. Almanac