Randi Kramer disputed a distracted driving ticket she received for having her phone charging in her car’s cupholder while driving in Vancouver on Oct. 1, 2019. (Trevor Kramer)

Phone in cupholder isn’t OK, B.C. public safety minister says

Cellphone ‘supposed to be mounted,’ not accessible while driving

Having your cellphone close at hand in your vehicle cupholder does not comply with B.C. law against distracted driving, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says.

Farnworth was asked Wednesday about a recent case of a woman issued a $368 ticket for distracted driving, after Vancouver Police stopped her in a routine check.

“I can’t comment on individual cases, but what I can tell you is the law is clear,” Farnworth told reporters at the B.C. legislature Wednesday. “The cellphone is supposed to be mounted, and it’s not accessible. The police do have some discretion, and obviously if people feel that they were ticketed unfairly, they have the ability to fight that in court.”

Richmond resident Randi Kramer, a senior in her 70s, began the process of doing just that, and her lawyer reported Oct. 2 that police had cancelled the ticket. Her son also protested on social media that his mother’s phone was connected to Bluetooth for hands-free use at the time.

RELATED: Police cancel $368 ticket issued to B.C. senior

RELATED: What exactly counts as distracted driving in B.C.?

Vancouver Police issued a statement declining to comment on any single case, adding that drivers may be ticketed for “using an electronic device even if they are not touching it.” This would apply if a device is turned on, within reach of the driver, and causing the driver to be distracted while driving, the statement said.

The current B.C. legislation states that holding the phone or “operating one or more of the device’s functions” qualifies as distracted driving.

Farnworth said police vigilance is warranted, given the growing problem of distracted driving accidents across North America.

“To me what’s always been important is cracking down on distracted driving, and what I’ve seen in the vast majority of cases are in fact people who are using their cellphones.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Alberni vet heading to Africa with Veterinarians Without Borders

Dr. Roberta Templeton and her vet husband will help dairy farmers in Uganda

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Helping with Christmas bird count is ‘citizen science’

Port Alberni’s bird count will be Dec. 28, 2019; volunteers are needed

BUDGET 2020: Port Alberni Fire Department needs new equipment

Police services ask for funding for community policing office

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were woman

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Most Read