B.C.’s distracted driving law could be adjusted after another ticket tossed out by court

The latest distracted driving ticket to get tossed out by a B.C. judge could lead to adjustments to the law itself, the province’s public safety minister says.

The decision handed down in Victoria provincial court Tuesday concerned a Victoria woman who was fined for having her phone sitting on her lap while stopped at a red light in December 2018 in Esquimalt.

The police officer who issued the ticket noted the phone’s screen was not illuminated at the time and the woman was not touching the phone, which was connected to a charging cable.

The woman was pulled over when the officer noticed she was glancing down at her lap “a few times,” according to the written decision. The woman testified the phone had been next to her right thigh on the driver’s seat.

The officer had argued that charging a phone was a function of the phone, meaning it was in use, and that having the phone in the woman’s lap counted as “holding” the device.

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