Tweeting the location of a police speed trap isn't illegal, but the ethics of the practice aren't as clear cut — especially when it's a city councillor doing the tweeting.
On Tuesday evening, Toronto city councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong tweeted the location of a speed trap in the city's east end:
Minnan-Wong, an ally of mayor Rob Ford, is known for his car-friendly views. In the past he's voted to tear out bike lanes and asked for a review of the scramble light, which allows pedestrian-only crossing at Toronto's bustling Yonge-Dundas intersection.
Constable Marco Ricciardi got wind of the flurry of tweets bashing Minnan-Wong for what some considered a dangerous move. Ricciadri said that if it was merely a reminder to take it slow on the roads, it wasn't such a big to-do:
Toronto Police have previously said there's nothing they can do about people tweeting the locations of speed traps or even RIDE checks, which look for drunk drivers.
Last Christmas Eve, an upswing in tweets revealing RIDE locations prompted Sgt. Tim Burrows to share this grave reminder that was retweeted hundreds of times:
Using a mobile device while driving is, however, illegal in Toronto, but it's not clear when or where Minnan-Wong sent his tweet.
When it comes to sharing the location of speed traps, Ontario seems to be a popular place to do it. The National Speed Trap Exchange website allows motorists to share the locations of radar-baring cops. In a recent poll, readers ranked Ontario as the worst place in North America for speed traps.
The website is run by the National Motorists Association , which claims to be an advocacy group for drivers. Their website includes articles such as how to "bring public and private wrath down upon the perpetrators of speed traps." One of the tips is to contact your local elected officials, but it looks like Minnan-Wong is a step ahead.
What do you think? Is it unethical to share the location of speed traps? Let us know in the comments.
Mungo Simon Peacock