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

Shelter access moving to the side of the building in Chilliwack on the heels of complaints

Renos to The Portal will see new bunk beds, indoor washrooms and a review of security and cleaniness

Drivers warn of slippery conditions on the Coquihalla

Snow is falling at the Summit of the Coquihalla

Rotarians digging in for new tree planting project

Trees will be a way to honour loved ones through Chilliwack

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

UFV bans cash after accepting 17 payments over $10k last year

Ban on cash payments follows report warning of potential money laundering through universities

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Man killed in Richmond had ‘no record of criminality,’ IHIT says

Stephen Chong, 58, was found dead in his business

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read