Mobile Streaming: TV-watching behind the wheel a growing trend, Toronto police and locals say

Toronto, Ontario — Recent charges laid against a Toronto driver came with what one would think would be an obvious warning, but apparently bears repeating—hey everyone, please don’t watch TV while you’re driving. Please.

The Toronto Police Service followed up on a recent incident of TV-related distracted driving on Twitter, pointing out that these sorts of habits are becoming disturbingly common among Toronto drivers.

“More and more our team is seeing a concerning trend of drivers watching TV when driving,” wrote the TPS in a tweet from Wednesday, paired with a photo of a ticket issued that day for such an offense.

“It’s too bad this needs to be said. You can’t watch TV and drive even though the phone is mounted to the dash,” the tweet continued.

A Toronto-area cyclist responded to the tweet, saying they can often see inside people’s vehicles while they are driving and can confirm that binging-and-driving has seemingly become the norm, and little appears to be done to prevent it.

“I ride a bike and can see in cars easily, I see people texting and watching videos on there [sic] phone while driving often, there is little to no enforcement. Drivers don’t care,” they said.

Another user pointed a finger at rideshare drivers who, by the nature of their job, are required to be regularly interacting with their phone while behind the wheel, often with the potential for deadly consequences.

“Uber drivers and Lyft drivers watch their phone[s] and touch all day long. [I’ve] seen them go through reds or stops not watching the road,” they said.

In the specific incident tweeted by the TPS, the driver was charged under the section 78 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, which states “no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway if the display screen of a television, computer or other device in the motor vehicle is visible to the driver.”

In the end, catching up on their shows will cost this driver a $615 fine.


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