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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

No new COVID-19 cases for the first time in weeks: Interior Health

Hospitalization also down to zero across the region

Chase RCMP seek information for decade-long missing person investigation

Shayne Murray Robinson’s truck was found abandoned by the Barriere RCMP detachment in 2010

Clearwater and Barriere welcome new reverend

Clearwater and Barriere have a new reverend, Bruce Chalmers, who will do… Continue reading

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

Interior Health expands COVID-19 testing access in Kelowna

First-come, first-serve, no-appointment-needed testing centre opens in downtown Kelowna

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Anonymous letters tell Vancouver Island family their kids are too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in Parksville backyard is ‘unbearable’

Most Read