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)

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

The RCMP was called to a condo complex in Langley City in the early hours of Jan. 18, 2021, for a shooting. (Shane Mackichan/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Our View: Too many shootings as gang war continues

We need to ask what more we could be doing to stop the endless gang wars

A lawsuit over three stormwater floods of a building over the past year has been launched against Langley City. (Langley Advance Times file)
Flooded apartment building sparks lawsuit against Langley City

A downtown landlord claims a lack of storm sewer upgrades is negligence

Abbotsford’s Willow Video location will be closing at the end of the month. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford’s Willow Video closing

Video game, movie retailer closing up shop after more than 20 years

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Most Read