New Brunswick elections brings up texting while driving ban

New Brunswick is one of the last two provinces with Alberta not to have put a ban on texting while driving.  That may change after the upcoming elections on September 27.

Current Prime Minister Shawn Graham of the New Brunswick Liberal Party promised last week that a liberal government would ban the use of cell phones while driving.  He said the provincial government has been consulting different interest groups to come up with the best legislation to stop people from texting while driving.

“Early in a new Liberal government mandate, we will be bringing forward legislation to deal with people texting while driving, and using cell phones while driving,” Graham told reporters.

For Conservative Leader David Alward, who vowed in June that if elected he would come forward with a ban on all hand-held cellphone use including texting, the issue has been put on ice for months by Graham’s government,.  Since Public Safety Minister John Foran announced in January his department was considering such legislation, no development has been made.

“The Liberals have had an opportunity for the last few years to bring it forward. We’ve asked many times the minister what his position was on it. He has not brought it forward,” Alward said.

The issue gained visibility this week a fatal crash near Pokiok on Monday. RCMP says it appeared the victim may have been texting while driving and that it could be a contributing factor in the crash.

Source:  The Vancouver Sun, September 9, 2010; Times & Transcript, September 10, 2010

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