VPD cancel senior's $368 distracted driving fine for having phone charging in cupholder

Oct 3 2019, 2:13 pm

The VPD has cancelled a nearly $400 ticket that was handed to a senior for having her phone charging in her cupholder.

Earlier this week, Trevor Kramer posted a picture of a $368 ticket he says his elderly mother received for “using an electronic device” behind the wheel when her phone was simply “plugged in” while connected to a Bluetooth device.

“My mom is in her 70s, has never had a single ticket in 50+ years of driving in BC. Today she got a $368 ticket for having her phone visible,” wrote Kramer on Twitter.

According to Kramer, his mother was stopped at a red light at Georgia and Hornby Street, where the officer was checking cars. She claims she had both hands on the wheel at the time of being stopped.

Kramer notified Vancouver-based lawyer Kyla Lee and she agreed to help the senior.

Kramer added that the “question, in this case, is not whether distracted driving laws are necessary (which they obviously are), but whether a driver who has never had a ticket in 50+ years deserves a $368 fine for the mere presence of a device in a cupholder while she was 100% focused on the road.”

Kramer’s post caught attention on social media with many commenting that the ticket was unfair.

On Wednesday, Lee announced the ticket issued to Ms. Kramer had been cancelled by the VPD.

“I am happy to report that Vancouver Police have cancelled the ticket issued to Ms. Kramer this week. I’m also totally impressed by @tkhereandthere and his advocacy for his mother,” Lee tweeted.

In an email to Daily Hive, Lee said the reason for the ticket being cancelled “has to do with a case that [she] won in BC Supreme Court earlier this year, called R. v. Partridge.”

“In that case, the BCSC judge ruled that the mere presence of a phone in a vehicle is not enough to issue a ticket for distracted driving,” said Lee.

“The weight of court authority on the issue indicates that simply having it there charging is not enough. It is my understanding police have been instructed not to issue cup holder tickets for this reason.”