At Home: Alberta bill targets distracted drivers
When someone mentions the words ?distracted driving,? cell phones and electronic gadgets usually spring to mind. But there are plenty of other bad habits that take drivers? minds off the road, and a proposed Alberta bill takes aim at them too.
Bill 16, introduced by a Calgary MLA, would follow the lead of four other provinces where using handheld phones behind the wheel is against the law. And as the CBC reports, the proposed legislation would prohibit driving distractions like personal grooming as well.
The usual culprits would be banned, such as ?using hand-held devices that can transfer phone calls, email or text messages.? Some electronic toys, like hand-held audio or music players, would be allowed as long as drivers aren’t ?manually programming? them while on the road.
And incredible as it may seem, drivers engage in so many other distractions behind the wheel that legislators felt compelled to include them?things like writing, drawing, and sketching!
Personal grooming while driving is included in that list, probably no surprise to those who’ve skirted drivers shaving, putting on makeup, or curling their hair behind the wheel. The proposed bill would not affect emergency responders, and two-way radios and hands-free phones would still be allowed for ?commercial and search-and-rescue purposes.?
In Foreign News: US law aims to stop thieves using fake caller IDs
There are plenty of scams on the Internet, but people should be aware of digital thieves using phones as well. A common scam involves using fake caller IDs to trick people into revealing credit card or bank account numbers?and a new US law would make fake caller IDs illegal.
As The New York Times reports, the bill passed the House in a voice vote on April 14 and would ban the practice of faking caller IDs ?with the intent of tricking people into revealing personal information or otherwise causing harm.? Technology has made it relatively ?cheap and easy? for thieves to alter the information that shows up on a phone’s call display. Call recipients could see the name of their bank or other trusted organization and be tricked into giving out Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and even passwords.
The practice is known as spoofing, and It’s being used for more than financial gain. In some cases, political candidates have altered the caller ID to appear as a rival’s to mislead voters. One of the bill’s chief sponsors, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the told reporters that in one case, an identity-theft ring altered caller IDs to bilk over $15 million from unsuspecting victims.
Altering caller IDs would only be illegal ?when the intent is to deceive and harm the recipient of the call.? However, it would still be permitted in cases such as domestic abuse shelters changing display information to protect their residents.