08/14/2012 12:10 EDT | Updated 10/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Rob Ford Reading While Driving: Toronto Mayor Admits It Probably Happened (PHOTO)


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted he was "probably" reading while driving after a photo of him looking at papers while behind the wheel went viral on Twitter.

When asked by reporters Tuesday morning about whether he committed the act of distracted driving, Ford said "Yeah, probably. I'm busy," according to the Toronto Star's Daniel Dale.

When asked if reading while driving is a habit, Ford said "Yeah, probably. Trying to catch up on my work; you know, keep my eyes on the road, but I'm a busy man."

"It is ridiculous questions sometimes, seriously," the mayor continued. You can see video of Ford's answers from CTV here.

Ford made the comments while at a news conference regarding a business mission the mayor is leading to Chicago.

Ford was responding to an image of him driving on the Gardiner Expressway sent to radio host Dean Blundell Tuesday morning by Twitter user @RyanGHaughton.


Haughton later posted that the image was taken around 10 a.m. and that traffic was moving at approximately 70 km/h. Both tweets were subsequently removed and the account has now disappeared completely.

This isn't the first time Ford's driving has made headlines.

His recent switch from a minivan to a Cadillac Escalade raised eyebrows last month and the mayor has made waves in the past for allegedly driving past open streetcar doors and for reportedly giving the finger to a woman who said she noticed him talking on his cellphone while driving.

According to the Ontario Provincial Police, distracted driving is a factor in 30 to 50 per cent of collisions in the province.

Using a phone or text device while driving can lead to a $155 fine, while watching an entertainment device can lead to a $110 fine. Other forms of distracted driving can lead to a charge of Careless Driving, fines from $400 to $2,000 and the possibility of having your license suspended for two years and as much as six months of jail time.

Reading and driving alone, however, is not illegal. Police Const. Clint Stibbe told the Toronto Star that while he discourages the activity, it is not a chargeable offence.

The Toronto Police Service posted the photo on their Facebook page Tuesday afternoon and entreated the mayor to get a driver because "It is obvious that you are busy enough to require one and no amount of money you are saving by not having one is worth the life of one of your citizens."

Hard to argue with that.


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