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Distracted driving ticket

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G

GrandMarnier

As a new year's present, one of Vancouver's finest decided I needed one of these. Now to be clear, I wasn't talking on my phone or texting while driving. My phone was sitting in my cup holder like it always was whenever I'm in my car. Apparently, this is not allowed. Yeah, whatever, just another money grab, get on with it. The ticket was for $368 which sounded a little steep but didn't really register. Not until I called ICBC to pay for the ticket, that's when they got my full and undivided attention.

I was told that along with the ticket comes 4 demerit points. Since you're allowed 3 per year, this is an automatic $175 extra. Now it's a $543 ticket. WTF! Calmed down, I said to myself, let's learn from this and make sure it never happens again. So I ask the nice lady at ICBC just what is allowed? She said, nothing. Your phone is not allowed to be visible anywhere in your car. Not in your cup holder, not in your passenger seat, not anywhere.

Oh BTW, this is a Distracted Driving Ticket. So next time you feel like munching on a cheese burger or tidying up your makeup, think again. It might just comes with an extra $500 bill. And if you get another one within the same year, this will go up to the thousands very quickly. I heard some unlucky fellow got 3 of these tickets within the same year and lost his license for 6 months. Yeah, that'll do it. They're serious about getting their message across. Which is a good thing, I guess.

Well, now you've all been warned. Happy new year to all and hope it's a ticket free one. My phone is staying in my pocket (for the next 12 months anyway) :)
 

clu

Active member
Oct 4, 2010
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If you want to use your phone as a GPS there are some tricky requirements too. It has to be securely mounted, not blocking your view, but not so off your line of sight as to distract you either.

I wonder what they'd do about an Apple Watch or the like?
 

storm rider

Banned
Dec 6, 2008
2,569
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It is nothing but a cash grab which costs you more later as well via demerits.In Alberta it was brought into law under the PC's and since then the NDP have more than doubled the fine and have added demerits......just going after the low hanging fruit.....gotta pay for that 10 BILLION defecit right!

Dont bother trying to fight it in court to get the fine reduced or the demerits struck as it is a waste of time from my experience.I had 4 people ahead of me try and fail and at the same time I got to listen to a Liberal Socialist judge lecture a 3rd time loser drug addict and then give him leniency.Yeah give a POS drug addict mercy and treat hard working tax paying citizens like they are criminals make a lot of sense......to a Liberal it does of course.

SR
 
G

GrandMarnier

The reality is these things are often up to the discretion of the police officer involved. You got a ticket, now what? Of course, I can go to court and challenge the ticket because I was not using my phone at the time. But somehow, I don't think a judge will side with me over a police officer doing his job trying to crack down on unsafe driving practices. Do you? So yeah, unless I'm a lawyer, an activist or a retiree looking for some cause or a class action suit, I would just suck it up and call it a learning experience. Remember life is not fair after all.
 
G

GrandMarnier

I got shit once for checking the time on my phone in a gas station parking lot ,
the cop was walking by and banged my window with his flash light stick , scared the shit out of me ,
though a cracker jack was smashing my window.
Yeah, some are down right power hungry assholes. I'm actually very polite to them. Always thanking them for the ticket (which drives my wife crazy when she's in the car). I can't help it, I was brought up to say thank you whenever someone gives you something. It's a knee jerk reaction. I once got a ticket for being in an HOV lane. After I thank the officer, he got in front of all the traffic right in the middle of Georgia Street and let me in. Now that's priceless!
 

G.O.B.

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May 27, 2007
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The reality is these things are often up to the discretion of the police officer involved. You got a ticket, now what? Of course, I can go to court and challenge the ticket because I was not using my phone at the time. But somehow, I don't think a judge will side with me over a police officer doing his job trying to crack down on unsafe driving practices. Do you? So yeah, unless I'm a lawyer, an activist or a retiree looking for some cause or a class action suit, I would just suck it up and call it a learning experience. Remember life is not fair after all.
You're right, but there are enough people actually using their phones while driving - I see dozens every day. The cops should have no problem with someone using GPS on a mounted device. Of course, if you touch the screen even for a second, that's illegal.

I've heard many stories about cops giving tickets to people who have their phones out within reach. Not sure what law is being broken, but the implication is that if you have it out, you are intending to use it. You shouldn't have got a ticket if you never looked down or touched your phone.
 

MB Mod

Moderator
Sep 18, 2017
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lol cute story nice cop indeed! , I am pretty much the same,I can be scared, mad etc on the inside , but like mom always said , if thier "trying to correct you it usually to protect you ".
A good motto to use in many ways. :boink:
 

Lady Companion

Fun-loving Courtesan
Supporting Member
I got pulled over for plugging my phone into the charger while at a red light. Same thing. Distracted driving.

I was really polite and apologetic, but also very inquisitive as to exactly what constitutes distracted driving. I genuinely wanted to know so that I don't end up in the same predicament. For example, am I permitted to eat food? No...both hands need to be on the wheel. What about people who drive a standard then? Apparently that is different because their focus and actions are still directed at driving.

Am I permitted to drink water? And if so, only at a light? Only pulled over? While actually driving? The answer I received to that was yes, as long as it was done in a safe manner (which doesn't clarify things).

What about if there are kids in the backseat that are arguing? That is incredibly distracting. How about if they are kicking my seat? Or if a baby is crying? Those are both stressful and anxiety provoking in addition to just being a distraction. How should that be dealt with?

He wasn't able to answer those questions, beyond saying to pull over to deal with the situation when I was able. Which makes complete sense. However, when you compare plugging in a phone while stopped at a light that just turned red to a screaming kid kicking the drivers seat while doing 100 on an icy freeway, I was left unclear as to how "distracted" was actually defined. It seemed somewhat subjective, and I would really like some answers so I don't unintentionally do something which causes me to get another ticket due to my ignorance.

For the record, I WAS genuinely wanting specifics for that very reason.

However, my curiosity either exasperated the officer, or he followed my line of reasoning, as he graciously decided to let me go with a warning.

I'm still unclear as to the precise definition of what is permitted and what isn't, and would love concrete answers if anybody has them. Other than a few things which have been clearly defined as a distraction, the rest seems pretty subjective. I'm all for people being more focused when driving, but if we are going to abide by the rules and laws, we really need to know what they entail.
 

badbadboy

Well-known member
Nov 2, 2006
9,562
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If you want to use your phone as a GPS there are some tricky requirements too. It has to be securely mounted, not blocking your view, but not so off your line of sight as to distract you either.

I wonder what they'd do about an Apple Watch or the like?
That's what I do with my phone. I talk to text or speak as I go via Bluetooth with it just off my immediate sight line.

I see so many cops hiding behind bus shelters, on the sides of buildings and totally doing a blitz on the public. It's just not worth trying to even glance at your phone while driving.

I got ticketed when the law first came into effect by reading an email. Damn RCMP jumped out of a bush with a whistle because I glanced at my phone while at a red light. Scared the shit out of me.

As a side note, parking on a side street with the engine running and talking on the phone is classified as distracted driving. You have to have the engine off.

I think I'd contest the ticket if I'm hit again. They give so many of these tickets that testing the ticketing officer's memory about day, time, weather conditions, exact hundred block etc etc might get someone off. Besides, if everyone contested these tickets, the courts would be clogged up for friken years! I've done it successfully in the past when I was given a ticket for running a yellow while in rush hour traffic. The officer had no notes and the case was dismissed.
 

UhOh

Well-known member
Dec 12, 2011
1,858
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That's what I do with my phone. I talk to text or speak as I go via Bluetooth with it just off my immediate sight line.

I see so many cops hiding behind bus shelters, on the sides of buildings and totally doing a blitz on the public. It's just not worth trying to even glance at your phone while driving.

I got ticketed when the law first came into effect by reading an email. Damn RCMP jumped out of a bush with a whistle because I glanced at my phone while at a red light. Scared the shit out of me.

As a side note, parking on a side street with the engine running and talking on the phone is classified as distracted driving. You have to have the engine off.

I think I'd contest the ticket if I'm hit again. They give so many of these tickets that testing the ticketing officer's memory about day, time, weather conditions, exact hundred block etc etc might get someone off. Besides, if everyone contested these tickets, the courts would be clogged up for friken years! I've done it successfully in the past when I was given a ticket for running a yellow while in rush hour traffic. The officer had no notes and the case was dismissed.
I didn't know that parking with the engine running while looking at your phone could still get you a ticket. This shit is really getting out of hand. Its a free for all for the cops to do whatever they want. These same dicks are looking for an excuse to nab you for distracted driving all the while driving with a laptop at their side. This shit has to be protested.
I'm all for safe driving practices but thats not the issue with them, its revenue generator and nothing else.
I've heard of these clowns riding the bus and watching traffic passing by looking for anyone glancing at their phone and calling that in to a following patrol car.
People shouldn't stand for this level of harassment.
 

UhOh

Well-known member
Dec 12, 2011
1,858
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Whats next with these clowns, handing out fines for changing the station on the radio, turning the heat up or down, driving with one hand, adjusting the mirror?
This is a total attack on rights and freedoms. What law enforcement is getting away with is discussing.
 

Jethro Bodine

Well-known member
I don't want to sound like I am dispensing legal advice (which is banned on Perb) but for that kind of money I think you need to talk to a expert (a lawyer or I'm not sure if there are ex cops out there who will fight tickets for you like we have here in Wpg.).
Distracted driving offences while seeming difficult to fight are just as difficult to prove. In court the cop will have to testify to what exactly you were doing to demonstrate that you were "distracted."
As an example I had a friend who was ticketed for distracted driving because he was singing along to the music. It was a nice day, he had the top down and only one hand on the wheel and was belting out a tune. Now if that was old Jethro, just singing in public would be a jailing offence but I digress. The next thing he knew he was being pulled over. Cop bitches him out about being too busy singing to pay attention to the road. He hires a ex-cop who goes to court for him. Under cross the cop cannot specifically say what my friend was doing which indicated he was distracted. Judge lays waste to cop and the Crown Attorney for wasting the court's time and actually says he also enjoys singing along to the radio when he is in his car. Ticket thrown out. When he factored in the cost of the ticket and the increase on his insurance rates it cost him ~ 1/3 to hire the ex-cop. Plus the satisfaction of seeing the cop get his ass ripped by the judge.
Unless you were an ass hole, it is unlikely he/she will have many if any notes on the incident. 8 months later or longer (here in MB anyway) when it goes to court, he/she won't be able to recall the exact incident. If he/she just shows up and gives some generic testimony about how you swerved into the other lane, etc. the judge will doubt it. Was there another cop in the cop car or were they solo? If there were 2 cops these are often easier to fight because again it is unlikely they took notes and unlikely both their stories under cross would line up.
Again, not dispensing legal advice. Just saying.....

Cheers
J
 

hankmoody

New member
Aug 12, 2014
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Some good ideas here.
Angel is not only allowed to ask questions, but when you do it sincerely with legit questions it can help. Whether you bat those eye lashes or not..
And i have used one of the agencies Jethro speaks of more than once. The last time they got me off without even going to court. For having no front licence plate. Which i did not have, and they still got me out of the ticket! I always contest.
Don't be taken advantage of.
 
G

GrandMarnier

And i have used one of the agencies Jethro speaks of more than once. The last time they got me off without even going to court. For having no front licence plate. Which i did not have, and they still got me out of the ticket!
Quite a few of my cars don't have front license plates, In certain cars, it just look wrong. I'm always conscious of the fact and try to follow close to the traffic so the front is not visible. I would really like the name or names of these agencies if you don't mind sharing. Maybe next time, I won't be so quick to pay the ticket. Thank you in advance.
 

Cock Throppled

Well-known member
Oct 1, 2003
4,238
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Upstairs
Quite a few of my cars don't have front license plates, In certain cars, it just look wrong. I'm always conscious of the fact and try to follow close to the traffic so the front is not visible. I would really like the name or names of these agencies if you don't mind sharing. Maybe next time, I won't be so quick to pay the ticket. Thank you in advance.
Logic - Trying to keep the front of your car hidden by tail-gating, and creating a dangerous situation because a front plate "just looks wrong."

Incredible.
 

MissingOne

awake but not woke
Jan 2, 2006
1,946
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I got shit once for checking the time on my phone in a gas station parking lot ,
the cop was walking by and banged my window with his flash light stick , scared the shit out of me ,
though a cracker jack was smashing my window.
Please don't take this as legal advice, but in my layman's opinion you'd have been perfectly within your rights to give him shit back. According to the regulations at:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/d...ications/electronic-devices-while-driving.pdf

"These devices cannot be used unless a driver is safely parked off the roadway or is making an emergency call to 9-1-1."

From your description, it seems that you were safely parked off the roadway.
 

J-Dogg

Member
Jun 15, 2012
139
0
16
You could load up Waze b4 driving as well...the app is good for 5-0 locations and accidents....saved my ass on Renfrew & Hastings last week when they were doing distracted driving/speeding checks both ways
 

Ms. Emily Marie

New member
Dec 30, 2017
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I’m pretty sure like speeding tickets if the officer doesn’t show up in court, you won’t have to pay the ticket. Anyone know if this is true?
 
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