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Police cancel senior’s distracted driving ticket after online outrage

by Ace Damon
Police cancel senior's distracted driving ticket after online outrage

Vancouver police canceled a distracted $ 368 fine after the driver complained that her cell phone was just sitting in the car's cup holder while she was standing at the red light.

The ticket drew a lot of attention online after Trevor Kramer, the eldest son, went to Twitter on Monday to call the police department's traffic unit, saying that his mother wasn't even ringing or looking at him. her phone at the time.

Hey @IRPlawyer, What do you think? My mother is 70 years old, never had a single ticket in over 50 years driving in BC. Today, she received a $ 368 fine for having her phone visible (connected while connected to Bluetooth for voice / SMS). She was not looking / touching. pic.twitter.com/ofuTSOxzYi

– Trevor Kramer Ⓥ (@tkhereandthere) September 30, 2019

"She was with both hands on the steering wheel and was looking forward, waiting for traffic to advance when someone knocked on the passenger side window," said Kramer. "She initially thought it was a beggar."

However, to her mother's surprise, it was a uniformed Vancouver police officer who handed her a $ 368 violation fine for having her cell phone out of her.

"He told her that the reason for the ticket was that her phone was charging and visible, which he said was not allowed."

The story attracted outrage among drivers – "My mother is 70, never had a single pass in more than 50 years driving in BC," tweeted Kramer – even drawing the ire of a Vancouver criminal lawyer who offered to take the car. case surfaced. pro bono.

"I filed a case earlier this year in the B.C. Supreme Court involving someone who was fined for the same course of conduct involving his cell phone," said attorney Kyla Lee, an auto crime expert.

"If they are trying to ban people from charging their phones or having loose phones in the vehicle, they need to make it clear to the public so that the public can adjust their behavior accordingly," she said.

"What Kramer was doing in this case poses no risk of causing an accident, so it's unnecessary."

The Vancouver Police Department finally canceled the ticket on Wednesday and apologized, Kramer said.

"A few minutes ago my mother called me and said she got a call from a sergeant … who apparently apologized and said the ticket was canceled and will not be forwarded to ICBC," Kramer said on Wednesday afternoon.

The Victoria Police Department has reflected on confusion about where a cell phone can be safely and legally stored inside a vehicle while it is in use.

"The distracted driving law stipulates that if you basically interact with this electronic device in one or more ways, that would be a violation," said Victoria Const. Stephen Pannekoek "If it had just fallen and she had not interacted, I, as an officer, would not write the fine."

Pannekoek said the illegal use of cell phones behind the wheel in Victoria remains "prolific."

"Keep your eyes on the road," he said. "You never know when there might be another distracted driver out there or someone just not paying attention."

Pannekoek said distracted driving remains the leading cause of death on local roads and highways, followed by poor driving, excessive speed and production failure.

Distracted driving is a factor in an average of 77 deaths on B.C. roads each year.

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