If you followed the media and politico’s constant barrage of attacks on Rob Ford, you’re probably aware of the two times he was caught using his mobile phone while driving. Of all the attacks against Ford, the criticism about his distracted driving was entirely fair- not only is it illegal to do so, but it recklessly puts other people’s lives at risk.
Ford’s opponents argued that as mayor he has the responsibility to act and behave as a role model. The Toronto Police service spoke out about the incident and issued a plea for Ford to get himself a driver. The mayor rejected the request at first, but ultimately broke down and hired a City of Toronto security guard to do the job.
One would think that after all of the negative media Ford received for distracted driving that other politicians would have learned by now that it’s a bad idea to do this. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case for City Councillor Shelley Carroll. Ignoring the fact it’s illegal to use one’s phone while driving, and that it’s a horrible example for a member of the Toronto Police Services Board to be breaking the law, Carroll flagrantly tweeted a message to Newstalk 1010’s John More from the Don Valley Parkway this morning.
I sent out a tweet criticizing Carroll’s recklessness shortly after she announced she was breaking the law. Less than an hour later she decided that, rather than apologizing for her violation, she’d instead try to excuse herself. “I realize tweeting is still technically a no no while ‘at a stand still,” she wrote.
Of course, that’s no excuse, particularly for someone who’s on the police board. As the Province of Ontario states on their web page about distracted driving, it’s not a technicality to use one’s phone while standing still, it’s a violation of the law that comes with a $490 fine. More importantly, it puts other people’s lives at risk by impacting the driver’s ability to quickly respond to potential emergencies.
Carroll and Moore were quite vocal about Rob Ford’s distracted driving. Both called out other people’s hypocrisy for making excuses for Rob Ford’s distracted driving while complaining about the actions of a TTC bus driver. But when politely asked to comment about Carroll’s hypocritical distracted driving incident, they responded with radio silence.
Shelley Carroll owes the people of Toronto an apology for her behavior today. It’s bad enough she broke the same law she and Moore criticized Rob Ford for, but as a member of the police services board, it’s her job to set a better example. Carroll recently announced she hopes to run for the Ontario Liberal’s seat in Don Valley North. But obviously, if she can’t apologize for her hypocrisy and law breaking, she’s not the right person for the job.
As for John Moore, he was all too quick to criticize Ford for his distracted driving, so why is he so silent about Shelley Carroll’s? I’ll leave you in suspense for now, but stay tuned for an upcoming article on why the people of Don Valley North need to choose anyone but Shelley Carroll- and how Moore resorted to dirty tricks to distract people from the fact she hired a convicted riot organizer onto the City of Toronto payroll.