|Toronto Mayor Rob Ford won't be facing a ticket from police for chatting on his cellphone behind the wheel. (QMI Agency File)
TORONTO - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford won't get a ticket from police for chatting on his cellphone while behind the wheel.
Ford's driving behaviour made headlines this week after a woman accused him of giving her and her six-year-old daughter the finger last Friday night.
The woman said Ford made the rude gesture after she pulled up beside his van and gave him a thumbs down because he was talking on his phone while driving.
Ford admitted Tuesday to dialing and driving, but denied he gave the woman and her daughter the middle finger.
Police spokesman Mark Pugash confirmed Wednesday that they won't launch an investigation into Ford's phone habits.
"We won't be pursuing it," Pugash said.
"I think it is safe to say that the mayor has been reminded of the safety concerns," he said.
Pugash stressed the situation has come up before, with less high-profile drivers, and Toronto Police as a rule don't retroactively track down drivers for using their cellphones while driving.
"This applies whether it is the mayor or you or me or everybody," he said.
The maximum fine Ford could have faced is $168.
Given the fact an investigation would be very expensive and very time consuming, Pugash said it comes down to the service having to make decisions about deploying resources where they will do "the most good."
City transit chairman Karen Stintz — who blasted bus drivers caught using their cellphones while on the job earlier this year — declined to comment on Ford's behaviour.
"I'll leave that to the mayor," she said.
Coun. Peter Milczyn admitted he's talked on his phone while driving.
"It happens, it's wrong and we shouldn't do it, but sometimes the phone rings, you grab it," Milczyn said. "Everybody should have (a) Bluetooth (device) in their car."
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty resisted the urge to offer Ford advice on the distracted driving law his government introduced in 2009.
But McGuinty did say he has yet to break that particular law.
"I don't drive. And I say that with regret," said McGuinty, who has a provincial police driver. "I'm not going to offer advice to any specific individual."
The issue is a matter of public safety on the roads, he said.
"I would encourage all Ontarians to take that into account as they go about their daily business," McGuinty said.
— With files from Jonathan Jenkins