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Vancouver lawyer asks for clarity after driver ticketed for leaving cellphone in cup-holder

Last Updated Oct 8, 2019 at 8:57 pm PDT

Image via Josh Delgado/Twitter
Summary

Josh Delgado was given a $368 ticket for using an electronic device while driving & having a cell phone in a cup holder

Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee says it’s not illegal unless you are also using it for things like GPS or playing music

Lee wants the province to start a campaign to clarify the rules surrounding electronic use

SAANICH (NEWS 1130) – It’s another case of someone getting a pricey ticket for having a cell-phone in their car’s cup-holder.

A man on Vancouver Island has taken to Twitter to share his story and it’s leading a local lawyer to demand more clarity from the province.

According to a post by Josh Delgado, he was given a 368-dollar ticket for using an electronic device while driving for having his cell phone in his vehicle’s cup holder.

“I’ll see you in court to defend my right to have my cellphone sitting in my cupholder while driving,” he tweeted. “Saanich/VicPD won’t answer if it’s illegal to keep a cellphone in a cupholder while driving but they are happy to fine citizens for it.”

Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee says it’s not illegal to have a phone in a cup holder unless you are also using it for things like GPS, or playing music.

“If you’re using it for any of those purposes, that is an additional thing beyond having the phone loose in the vehicle that constitutes use in the meaning of the Motor Vehicle Act.”

She says in recent weeks a number of clients have come to her, confused about what they can and can’t do behind the wheel.

“People are taking more precautions than are necessary, people having a greater inconvenience,” Lee says. “You also have people that are not taking necessary precautions and getting in trouble because they don’t understand the law.”

Lee wants the province to start a campaign to clarify the rules saying it’s not just drivers who aren’t sure what they can do, it appears police are confused too.

Last week the Vancouver Police Department canceled a similar, distracted driving ticket to a woman in her 70’s after her son drew attention to the ticket on social media.