Drive hand held communication device

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MarcoC
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Drive hand held communication device

by: MarcoC on
Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:34 pm

I've been stopped and fined for driving holding a communication device.
The first thing the officer said was "you were texting". I was actually in a conversation in a hands free mode (speakerphone):

"Hands-free mode allowed

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), a person may drive a motor vehicle on a highway while using a device described in those subsections in hands-free mode. 2009, c. 4, s. 2."

The officer saw the device in my hand since I was ending the conversation.

Do I have any chance to fight the fine in court on this ground?

Thanks for the advices


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by: hwybear on
Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:26 pm

MarcoC wrote:"Hands-free mode allowed

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), a person may drive a motor vehicle on a highway while using a device described in those subsections in hands-free mode. 2009, c. 4, s. 2."

The officer saw the device in my hand since I was ending the conversation.
you said it yourself - cellphone was in your hand, therfore it is not being used hands-free
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Squishy
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by: Squishy on
Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:31 am

The exemption for pressing buttons on a communications device requires that the device be placed securely in or mounted in the vehicle so that it does not move while the vehicle is in motion. It can't be in your hands.
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by: HighMileJon on
Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:58 am

This law is severely flawed albeit a step in the right direction.
Don't get me wrong I despise people who text and drive. Being a motorcyclist, distracted drivers are the greatest threat to my life while riding.

The problem is exactly what Squishy said, the HTA law says if the cell phone is "mounted" to the vehicle in some form (you can buy one of the AC/Heat ventilation mounts from Walmart for 20 bucks) you can press as many buttons on it as you wish, same goes for the GPS mounted units.

So to be honest I don't see the point of this law, if people can just buy a mount and now text on their phone while their phone is mounted to the vehicle. In some cases its MORE distracting because they are physically leaning their body forward and extending their right arm to reach the front dash to be able to touch their phone for calling and texting.

Like I said, its a step in the right direction but definitely not eliminating the problem of distracted driving. Did you hear Alberta passed a law that you can no longer sip your coffee or eat a McDonalds burger while driving?

Any form of distraction is bad, and unfortunately it seems most drivers, specifically in the GTA seem to be unable to drive without being distracted by some activity.

I also am disappointed by the amount of times I see an OPP or Regional Officer on his or her cell phone, I realize they are immune to the HTA while on duty but they are setting a bad example to the general public regardless of the additional training they have for using computers while driving.


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by: hwybear on
Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:35 pm

HighMileJon wrote:The problem is exactly what Squishy said, the HTA law says if the cell phone is "mounted" to the vehicle in some form (you can buy one of the AC/Heat ventilation mounts from Walmart for 20 bucks) you can press as many buttons on it as you wish, same goes for the GPS mounted units..
Not quite....there is a Excemption to use the "buttons" and is only for a cellphone....GPS is not included.

Exemption for pressing buttons
14. (1) A person may drive a motor vehicle on a highway while pressing a button on a hand-held wireless communication device to make, answer or end a cell phone call

For how cheap blue tooth devices are, don't know why everyone doesn have one. In fact I have 2. One which I use around house and when I am out and about. The second I leave at work and is a visor mount!
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: HighMileJon on
Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:09 pm

hwybear wrote:
HighMileJon wrote:The problem is exactly what Squishy said, the HTA law says if the cell phone is "mounted" to the vehicle in some form (you can buy one of the AC/Heat ventilation mounts from Walmart for 20 bucks) you can press as many buttons on it as you wish, same goes for the GPS mounted units..
Not quite....there is a Excemption to use the "buttons" and is only for a cellphone....GPS is not included.

Exemption for pressing buttons
14. (1) A person may drive a motor vehicle on a highway while pressing a button on a hand-held wireless communication device to make, answer or end a cell phone call

For how cheap blue tooth devices are, don't know why everyone doesn have one. In fact I have 2. One which I use around house and when I am out and about. The second I leave at work and is a visor mount!

But bear, I am talking about the device being "mounted" to the vehicle.

I was under the impression that if the device is "mounted" then you are allowed to use the device (including pressing buttons).

It doesn't make sense to be allowed to touch your phone but not your GPS.

Are you suggesting that it doesn't matter if your phone is mounted to the vehicle or not you can only press buttons on the phone while its mounted to answer and hang-up calls but no text messages, e-mails are allowed to be typed out while the device is mounted to your dash?

I definitely did not know this and thought I had read the law correctly. I will have to look it up again.

Let me know Bear. I am confused now.


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by: HighMileJon on
Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:13 pm

Exemption for pressing buttons
14. (1) A person may drive a motor vehicle on a highway while pressing a button on a hand-held wireless communication device to make, answer or end a cell phone call or to transmit or receive voice communication on a two-way radio if the device is placed securely in or mounted to the motor vehicle so that it does not move while the vehicle is in motion and the driver can see it at a quick glance and easily reach it without adjusting his or her driving position.


You are right Bear.

The law reads that regardless of whether the device is mounted to your vehicle or not it can only be used to make, answer, or end a phone call.

Good luck ever proving someone was texting versus dialing a number on a keypad.

Again back to my point of this law has many issues with it.

Either go all the way and ban the use of them, or allow full-access. I prefer ban completely but I know that will never happen.


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by: HighMileJon on
Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:15 pm

Actually the law reads that the device could potentially be sitting "securely" in a cupholder. Because the device would not move during motion of the vehicle, whereas if it were sitting on a persons lap or on the passenger seat it would be movable during motion.

This law is so dumb. There's so much room for error.


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by: hwybear on
Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:46 pm

HighMileJon wrote:Good luck ever proving someone was texting versus dialing a number on a keypad..
think proving it is rather easy....rarely do those texters ever look anywhere other than a quick glance up and forward, they wont be seeing a cruiser or even a transport driving next to them the last 5 minutes or so
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by: admin on
Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:12 pm

Wouldnt it be you who would have to prove you were not texting at that moment? Best way for that is to get your phone history I would think.

I think its fairly easy to tell the difference if someone is texting or just pressing say their radio buttons.


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by: HighMileJon on
Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:30 am

If someone was dialling on their phone, on the keypad, but got pulled over before the call could be completed then there would be no way for the accused to prove he/she was dialing and not texting because no record would show on the phone bill of a call being connected.

Bear you make a good point, I think if police use common sense it shouldn't be a problem. I have seen some horrible drivers that like to put their phones up on the steering wheel so they can use their thumbs on the phone and fingers on the wheel. And they spend 20% of time watching the road and 80% looking at their device.

I just think this law leaves room for a lot of ambiguity.

Speaking of distracted driving did you see the report/article about Halton police?

They have been in so many at-fault/preventable accidents recently that they are being required to go back to driving school.

Preventable accidents included - going too fast for the conditions, following too close to other vehicles and making improper turns.

Funny though, no tickets were ever issued to these "preventable" accidents.

Just the description of the accident itself makes it almost impossible to understand why a ticket wouldn't be issued - "going too fast for the conditions" or "following too close".

Oh well,

I think anyone who gets in blatantly stupid accidents should be required to go back for additional training.

And like I said distracted driving is such a huge problem and a huge factor involving a large percentage of accidents (they all are preventable)


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by: Squishy on
Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:21 am

Out of 7000+ vehicles where I was specifically watching for distracted drivers, I didn't see a single texter with a device mounted to the vehicle or placed securely within. I would not count the cupholder as secure, as the device will flop around in it. I use a stand on an anti-slip mat and I would consider that to be the bare minimum. I did see many that would be texting in their lap and rapidly looking up, left, right, to see if any cops were around.

Caught doing that, there's no exemption other than "officer, I was dialing 911 to report that the driver in front of me was talking on their cell phone!" :D
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by: Radar Identified on
Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:50 am

HighMileJon wrote:This law is so dumb. There's so much room for error.
The way I see it: Any talking on a wireless communication device is needless distraction, unless it happens to be a life-threatening emergency. The law should've been written that way (NO cellphone usage, hands-free or not, emergencies excepted)... but of course that would've been too complicated for the types we've elected at Queen's Park (sigh... debate for another time). The latest studies show texting and driving is even MORE dangerous than driving drunk.

It's amazing to go to places like Germany or Switzerland, which, granted, don't have perfect drivers, but still, the attitude is amazing: "Why would you want to do something that would distract you from driving?" Well that and distracted driving would likely earn you a one-way, not-so-nice conversation with the polizei (especially in Germany).
HighMileJon wrote:I think anyone who gets in blatantly stupid accidents should be required to go back for additional training.
Or spend some time in jail or with a suspended licence like they do in Germany. But we've got the attitude in North America: "I didn't mean to cause a crash, that's why it's called an 'accident.'" Well actually they call them "accidents" because people don't want to accept responsibility for their careless actions, but that's a different subject... Very rarely is a crash actually a true accident.
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