Posts Tagged ‘phone’

Quebec’s Bill 42

April 28, 2008

Not so nice a day to go walking today, but that presents an opportunity to do some catching up. Let’s have a look at Quebec’s Bill 42, which I previously posted about HERE.

The National Assembly adopted the bill 2007/12/21 thanks to Parti Quebecois support, and it became law 2008/04/01.

Although the Quebec Liberal Party “posted a video on its website criticizing the opposition PQ and the Action democratique du Quebec for blocking a proposal to lower the tolerated level of alcohol for drivers in Quebec to 0.05 per cent,” 01 the measures that it does contain are commendable.

BTW, that clause in the road safety legislation that would have lowered the legal blood level limit to 0.05 per cent was withdrawn after the Action Démocratique du Québec and Parti Québécois both refused to support that proposal. 02

Quebec beomes the first province to mandate the use of snow tires on all personal vehicles, taxis and rental cars. “This measure [which begins 2008/11/15] along with the provincial government’s renewed co-operation with Montreal municipalities to lower speed limits on residential streets, represents an attempt to make Quebec drivers more accountable and roads safer.” 03

There is a ban on hand-held cell phones, and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, as one blogger has noted, it “totally misses the point by not including text messaging devices. If holding and talking on the phone is a distraction and a cause of accident, reading or writing a text message is even more. In other words, if your Blackberry is not used as a phone, you can read or write message while going off the road or rear ending another vehicle.” 04

“According to the official transcripts of the debates of the National Assembly, the rationale behind the ban is that when a driver uses a cell phone while operating a vehicle, he is 30% more likely to be implicated in a crash. The penalty for those who get caught is rather stiff: a $80-100 fine plus 3 demerit points on the driver’s record.” 05

The bill makes driver’s education mandatory for all applicants who wish to obtain a license for passenger vehicles and motorcycles. 05

The legislation will also restrict car advertising that depicts fast, unsafe driving. 02

Sources:
01. 2007/12/19 – Global Quebec: National Assembly wraps…
02. 2007/12/19 – CBC: Legal blood alcohol limit won’t drop…
03. 2008/04/28 – The Suburban: Speed and snow tires…
04. 2008/01/10 – The Trucking Blog: Bill 42
05. 2008/04/01 – Michael Lu: Bill 42

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Are Communication Towers Good Neighbours?

December 29, 2007

It’s an issue that Industry Canada has jurisdiction over, but one that municipal politicians all over the province are increasingly hearing about.

More users (19.3 million Canadian subscribers as of September) and the need for greater bandwidth (video and music downloads) is driving a growing demand for better wireless infrastructure that solves poor reception. But as service providers react to that demand by putting cellphone towers in residential neighbourhoods, some community groups are voicing fears that the towers’ radio frequency emissions may pose health risks. And some residents, primarily concerned with visual blight, are demanding that towers be disguised (trees, church steeples, building facades, flag poles, public art water tanks, light poles, chimneys, windmills, etc; check out some of the photos HERE).

Residents in Montgomery County, Washington learned the hard way that cash-strapped school boards cannot be trusted to put the protection of children’s health ahead of economic incentives. When a bill came before the Maryland Legislature which proposed that leasing space for any new cell phone towers on elementary and middle school property be prohibited, the Montgomery County School Board voiced it’s unanimous opposition (‘School board stops bill banning new cell towers‘; Examiner; 2007/12/12).

Some countries in the European Union have adopted tough standards. In Salzburg, Austria, emissions can’t exceed 0.1 microwatts per square centimetre. But here, Health Canada currently permits 1,000 microwatts per square centimetre.

Should London residents be concerned?

Links:
Stop Cell Towers!
2004/05/19 – SignOnSanDiego: Parents protest cell towers on school grounds
2007/09/27 – Las Vegas Sun: Cell towers can’t hide from their opponents
2007/11/14 – Rense: Taiwan Removes All Cell Towers Near Children
2007/12/29 – Toronto Star: Cell tower plans jammed
2007/12/29 – Toronto Star: Telcos get mixed signals about better reception
2008/01/04 – Toronto Star: City report recommends limiting new cell towers

Canada’s DNCL

December 22, 2007

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News release
December 21, 2007

OTTAWA-GATINEAU — 
The Canadian Radio-television and 
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced 
that it has awarded a five-year contract to Bell Canada 
to operate the National Do Not Call List (DNCL). 

(more…)

British Cellphone Crackdown

December 20, 2007

Although the use of cellphones while operating an automobile was outlawed in Britain in 2003, it’s estimated that “half a million motorists flout the ban each day.”

(more…)

Fast-Car Ads Hit Quebec Roadblock

December 18, 2007

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An amendment to Quebec’s Bill 42 (highway safety) would “give the provincial auto insurance board the mandate to come up with guidelines to ban [car] ads that depict ‘heedless, careless or dangerous behaviour and gestures’ “ and more.

(more…)

Safer Streets in Nova Scotia

November 24, 2007

Nova Scotia’s Transportation Minister, Murray Scott, has introduced amendments to that province’s Motor Vehicle Act that appear to hold a promise of increased safety for pedestrians.

An 18-month pilot program would allow police to install photo-radar cameras capable of nabbing speeders and red light runners.

Another provision would ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving.

Drivers who fail to yield for pedestrians at crosswalks would see a doubling of fines: $500 for a first offence, $1,000 for a second and $2,000 for a third.

Can you hear me applauding?

Links:
2007/11/15 – CBC: Ban cell phones (audio)
2007/11/24 – Globe & Mail: N.S. government to make streets safer

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