VPD cancel senior's $368 distracted driving fine for having phone charging in cupholder
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.
Hey @IRPlawyer, what do you think of this? 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 (plugged in while connected to Bluetooth for voice / SMS). She wasn’t looking at / touching it. pic.twitter.com/ofuTSOxzYi
— Trevor Kramer Ⓥ (@tkhereandthere) September 30, 2019
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.
… she says had both of her hands on her steering wheel and was looking forward, until he distracted her to give her a ticket for having a mobile device that she wasn’t even looking at or touching at the time.
— Trevor Kramer Ⓥ (@tkhereandthere) October 1, 2019
Kramer notified Vancouver-based lawyer Kyla Lee and she agreed to help the senior.
Police ticket for having the phone charging. It’s ridiculous as it is not the distraction the government wishes to prohibit. Tell your mom to call me. We will help her out.
— Kyla Lee (@IRPlawyer) September 30, 2019
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.”
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.
— Trevor Kramer Ⓥ (@tkhereandthere) October 2, 2019
Kramer’s post caught attention on social media with many commenting that the ticket was unfair.
This is totally stupid. If the police are going to do this then they should ticket taxis, rideshare, public buses, trucks, etc., and themselves because their electronic gear is front and center to them all the time.
— David Baudais (@BaudaisDavid) October 2, 2019
Ridiculous. Hopefully she can get this ticket waived. Having a phone mounted where you still see the notifications popping up is in no way safer than having it plugged in/charging in the cupholder. They’re basically ticketing what you COULD do and not what you’re actually doing.
— Shahin Hosseini (@therealshaggo) October 1, 2019
I’m speechless. I just can’t believe this level of bullying and (legal) abuse.
— J. Fernando Reyes R. (@ReyesFernando) October 2, 2019
How are taxi drivers not cited for being distracted while driving with all their electronic systems for pick ups running?
— Dan (@DanielRam86) October 1, 2019
I literally drive like this everyday. What the heck is the point of having Bluetooth capable devices (and Bluetooth capable vehicles) if it’s illegal to use them with the world’s most popular device….a smart phone? 🙄 #rediculous
— Brandon K. Deyo (@BrandonKDeyo) October 2, 2019
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.
— Kyla Lee (@IRPlawyer) October 2, 2019
“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.”
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