"Lesson learned": Vancouver driver handed hefty ticket over distracted driving allegations

Mar 23 2023, 5:28 pm

A driver in Vancouver has been put on blast by police after they allege she was driving distracted and handed an expensive ticket.

Vancouver Police Traffic Section snapped a photo of the woman in the driver’s seat after she was pulled over. In the photo shared on Twitter, an iPad is visible along with a backpack.

Police say she was driving in the Commercial Drive area between East 1 Avenue and Colton Drive with the iPad on her lap while using her cellphone.

The penalty? A $368 ticket and four penalty points added to her driving record.

“Our member just stopped this driver travelling eastbound in the 1600 blk of E 1st ave; iPad in her lap while using her cell phone. $368 plus 4 points – hopefully a lesson learned as well. #LeaveYourPhoneAlone #EyesFwdBC,” the tweet reads.

Comments on the post range from commending the action of the police officer to condemning the photo, which shows the woman’s hair but not her face.

“How is this not a gross breach of privacy?” one user asked.

Another user called it a “bit creepy…like a hunter with his trophy.”

The lap vs. the seat next to you

The post comes in the wake of a social media call-out by a Vancouver lawyer who said the laws surrounding distracted driving are unclear and that a recent campaign by ICBC only muddied the water.

Kyla Lee, a criminal lawyer based in Vancouver, took aim at the ICBC video, tagging them in a tweet and asking the BC insurance agency to “stop spreading misinformation” after the insurer posted a video saying it was illegal to have your phone on the seat next to you.

Following the news story, ICBC posted a retracted video and clarified that the phone could be next to you but cannot be used.

However, drivers who are calling 911 are not prohibited from using an electronic device while behind the wheel.

To read the full Motor Vehicle Act on the use of electronic devices, head here.

With files from Amir Ali

Claire FentonClaire Fenton

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