Penalizing distracted walkers is step in the wrong direction

Motorist speed is still the single biggest factor associated with pedestrian deaths.

OPINION: The “Phones Down, Heads Up” act won’t solve the real problems on Ontario’s roads. Liberal MPP Yvan Baker should drop his bad idea, writes John Michael McGrath

​It’s never fun to watch a smart person do something dumb, and despite the criticism he’s getting from some corners this week, Liberal MPP Yvan Baker isn’t a dumb or malicious person. The rookie member of the legislature hasn’t ascended to cabinet, but he’s the parliamentary assistant to the finance minister (no small role) and has previously offered private member’s bills that address real problems in thoughtful and creative ways.

His latest, however, is a turkey. And it’s not a good time of year for poultry.

Following Honolulu’s lead, Baker introduced Bill 171 on Monday. The “Phones Down, Heads Up” act would impose fines on any pedestrian operating a cellphone or music player while crossing the road. The intent, he told reporters, was to raise awareness of the need for everyone on the road, including pedestrians, to be mindful of their surroundings.

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