Ticketed for Checking Time on Cellphone

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Versinthe
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Ticketed for Checking Time on Cellphone

by: Versinthe on
Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:14 pm

I got ticketed earlier today on my way to an appointment to get my haircut.

I was borrowing my parent's vehicle as mine is having heating problems at the moment. They normally set their clock a few minutes ahead of time so I wanted to make sure that I wasn't in fact late for my appointment, and by habit checked my phone for what must've been no more then 1-2 seconds.

This was as I was pulling into the parking lot of the hair salon. As soon as I pulled in, the cop had his lights flashing behind me, and I pulled into one of the empty spaces. He said that I was 'on my phone' so I said that I was checking the time. He then said 'it looked like you were talking', and I definitely was not, but I realized that I had been singing to the radio -which I told him. So he seemed to be under the impression that I was talking on speakerphone, which it definitely could have looked like and I felt like he thought I was lying to him.

He ticketed me for $155.00 and said I was free to challenge it.

I am considering challenging it, however I'm trying to find the definitive laws/loopholes around hand-held devices in Ontario. I have a spotless now 8 year record (age 16-23) record which is why I'm annoyed over something as simple as checking the correct time.

From what I see, actions such as talking, texting, checking email, surfing the web, maps, GPS, etc. are the ones that are banned. However I've also heard that by simply picking up a cellphone while at the wheel will get you the fine depending on whether you hit buttons or not, etc. I'm finding various opinions on the net...

What are my chances to getting the offense dropped in court?


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highwaystar
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by: highwaystar on
Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:23 pm

Sorry to say but holding the phone (regardless of purpose) is enough to convict. The Court of Appeal clarified that issue in the Kazemi decision just last September.

You'll therefore need to find a fatal error on the ticket, hope the officer doesn't show up for trial, or the officer isn't believed in court (especially if your statements are admitted in to evidence), if you plan to win. bottom line: you're in for an uphill battle on this one. You might therefore wish to consider taking a deal. They will only drop the fine amount (not to another charge), so you're really only looking at getting a fine reduction.


iFly55
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by: iFly55 on
Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:53 pm

Even if your phone had no SIM, no cell-bars, no battery and was not operational. You'll still be convicted of S.78.1 if you were caught holding it.

Admitting to the officer you checked your phone for the time would be the nail on the coffin.

R. v. Kazemi, 2013 ONCA 585 (CanLII)
[14] Road safety is best ensured by a complete prohibition on having a cell phone in one’s hand at all while driving. A complete prohibition also best focuses a driver’s undivided attention on driving. It eliminates any risk of the driver being distracted by the information on the cell phone. It removes any temptation to use the cell phone while driving. And it prevents any possibility of the cell phone physically interfering with the driver’s ability to drive. In short, it removes the various ways that road safety and driver attention can be harmed if a driver has a cell phone in his or her hand while driving.


jayjonbeach
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by: jayjonbeach on
Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:18 pm

Jeez I see the reasoning here but at the same time it seems harsh too.

What about the person using their GPS on the cellphone, I guess they are screwed too? (if caught holding it I guess) I wonder if the phone is in a "holder" and being used as GPS if this is okay? (technically you can still text/talk on it when in holder so it does seem "gray" here for sure)


iFly55
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by: iFly55 on
Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:29 pm

@jayjonbeach the HTA allows for hand-held devices to be used whilst mounted to the vehicle.

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... 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.[/quote]ImageImage


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