Latest case on 78.1(1) - driving with hand held device

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Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Tue May 28, 2013 9:27 pm

I think cell phone seizures would be problematic on many levels. I know the idea was proposed by the Police Chiefs Association in British Columbia but rejected by their Attorney General. First, there would be the whole privacy issue. The Courts (especially in Ontario) have been strongly favouring police requiring a warrant to perform anything more than a cursory search of a person’s cell phone in criminal matters. I think people quite rightfully have an expectation of privacy regarding their phone’s contents, and it would be problematic granting police a warrantless search authority for what’s a relatively minor Provincial offence. I’m not sure how well most police services could even keep up with the demand to search and/or analyze cell phones. I know my service has about a 3 month turn around period for analysis of such devices relating to Criminal matters, so I can’t even imagine the backlog if such analysis was required for HTA matters.

I think even a seizure simply to condone the act (i.e. no analysis, get it back in 24 hours) could be problematic from a public safety standpoint. For many people their cellular phone is their sole telecommunications device. People could quite rightfully argue they've lost their ability to contact family, work or even 9-1-1 without their device.


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hwybear
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by: hwybear on
Wed May 29, 2013 6:49 am

make it mandatory for all manufacturers of vehicles to install a Bluetooth system from this point forward in all makes/models would be a good start, somehow include the device to rest/sit on a sensor built into an enclosed docking station to also prevent texting
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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