Cell Phone Ticket Case Adds Uncertainty to Definition of Use


Having dealt with hundreds, if not thousands, of cases where clients are charged with using an electronic device while driving, I have seen all types of cases where people truly did not believe they were using their device.

In most instances, the mistake came down to the interpretation of the provision defining “use” both in the Motor Vehicle Act and the Motor Vehicle Act Electronic Device Regulations. In a bid to stop the madness, I recently took a case, R. v. Partridge, to the BC Supreme Court to get some clarification on what constitutes using your phone while driving in British Columbia. But after a recent BC Traffic Court decision, it seems the madness has not yet ended.

In R. v. Anderson, a judicial justice of the peace in traffic court determined that my case, and its predecessor, R. v. Jahani, were wrongly decided. This is despite the fact that in Partridge the Crown conceded the appeal and agreed that Jahani was the correct statement of the law. To some extent, there was a problem in this case of the accused being self-represented and consequently unable to explain those legal nuances to the judicial justice.
What happened in Anderson was simple: Ms. Anderson was pulled over after a police officer observed her with the phone tucked under her leg while she drove. She was ticketed for using an electronic device, even though she was not talking or texting or playing music. The basis of the ticket was that she had her phone tucked under her leg.

The central issue in the case was whether a person can get a cell phone ticket for having their phone tucked under their leg. And the judicial justice in that case answered it in the affirmative.

Looking at the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act, the Motor Vehicle Act Electronic Device Regulations and the case law, he determined that both Jahani and Partridge were wrongly decided. The basis for this decision was the fact that the Motor Vehicle Act prohibits holding the phone in a position in which it may be used.

If your phone is held securely under your leg, you cannot initiate a call. You cannot answer a call. You cannot send a text message. If the phone is being used as a music player or GPS, that might be one thing. But then, is that interpretation of the definition not inconsistent with the purpose of the Act? If the purpose is public safety, why should having it tucked under your leg when directions or music is pre-programmed offensive to the Legislature’s intent?

Besides… the definition of use itself is circular. If use includes holding the phone in a position in which it may be used, what is meant by the term use in that definition? Used for what? Holding the phone in a position in which it may be held in a position in which it may be held in which it may be… you get the point. The interpretation makes little sense when you consider both the purpose of the text and ordinary rules of grammar.

So while the judicial justice in this case determined that the earlier case, R. v. Judd, was a correct statement of the law regarding use, the facts did not fit this situation. In Judd, the evidence was that Mr. Judd was holding his phone up to his ear. There was no evidence that he was talking or using any of the features of the phone.

But the act of holding it up to one’s ear is much different than the act of tucking it under the leg. One involves taking your hand off the steering wheel and rendering your hand and arm incapable of operating the vehicle in an urgent situation. The act of tucking it under the leg is vastly different. It only involves tucking your phone under your leg and little else.

At the end of the day, the traffic court judgment, while persuasive to other judicial justices, is not binding on them. Partridge and Jahani are binding. And the Partridge judgment was rendered for the sole purpose of cleaning up the law in this area. While that did not happen after all, at least there is some more judicial comment to guide the decision-making of parties in traffic court and on the road.

For now, however, if you’ve got your phone in your vehicle you are best to keep it away from your body as opposed to touching you in some way.

102 thoughts on “Cell Phone Ticket Case Adds Uncertainty to Definition of Use”

  1. May I simply just say what a relief to discover somebody that genuinely knows what they’re discussing over the internet. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people really need to look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you are not more popular given that you surely have the gift.

    http:///www.manulescu.com – manu manumanu

  2. really nice

    This is definitely beneficial information my friend. you are a remarkably good scribe . i want to share with you my website as well. proclaim me what do you think fro it

    buy youtube views

    Thankyou again for posting such good content. Cheers

  3. This is the very interesting post. I actually like that you only provide quality information and not write about something.
    Continue to keep it up and you will probably achieve great results.

    So what do a person think about my site? magazin pescuit

  4. This is a categorically enchanting website I forced to say.

    Too polluted that there are not too varied websites like This anymore. But I am pleased that I bring about it. Ok champion criticism on it .

    You can glom my website here as comfortably: xbody dristor

  5. Wow, amazing blog layout! How lengthy have you been running a blog
    for? you made running a blog look easy. The whole glance of your website is wonderful,
    as neatly as the content material!

  6. Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with
    my myspace group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really
    enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thank you

  7. You beget a very attractive website. I like the directly word that you provide with every article.

    You can hamper my website here : anime iwai

    What do you contemplate ?

  8. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.

    The problem is something which not enough people are
    speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I found this during my hunt for something
    relating to this.

  9. You’re so awesome! I do not think I have read something like that before.
    So nice to discover another person with some genuine thoughts on this topic.
    Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

  10. Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am a blogger,
    and I was wondering your situation; we have developed some nice
    methods and we are looking to trade solutions with other folks, be sure to shoot me an e-mail
    if interested.

  11. This design is spectacular! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well,
    almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really loved what you had to say,
    and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  12. There will always be someone who will accompany you to fulfill your unfulfilled wishes, send you flowers, accompany you to watch the sunrise and sunset, accompany you to walk the Yangtze River Bridge to accompany you to play the carousel, and spend the rest of your life with you.

  13. My friend is a raincoat, even if I ca n’t think of it on a sunny day, the rainy season will accompany you; my lover is a thick cloth, even if it is not beautiful, it can cover the wind and cold; my parents are old jackets, although they are not fashionable, even stupid, but they are the warmest and warmest .

  14. Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?

    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would
    really make my blog jump out. Please let me
    know where you got your design. Thanks

  15. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post
    I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  16. Hi, Neat post. There is a problem together with your web site in web explorer, would test this?
    IE still is the marketplace leader and a large component of folks will leave out your
    magnificent writing because of this problem.

  17. Can I simply just say what a relief to find an individual who actually understands what they’re discussing on the internet.
    You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    A lot more people need to look at this and understand this side
    of your story. It’s surprising you aren’t more popular because you certainly have the gift.

  18. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance.
    I must say that you’ve done a fantastic job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads super quick for me on Safari.
    Outstanding Blog!

  19. Its such as you read my mind! You appear to understand so much approximately this, such as you wrote the book in it or something.
    I believe that you can do with a few % to
    drive the message home a bit, but other than that, that is magnificent
    blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

  20. naturally like your web-site however you have to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
    Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding
    it very bothersome to tell the reality then again I’ll certainly come back again.

  21. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but
    I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where
    to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thank
    you

  22. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog
    and I’m impressed! Very useful information particularly the last
    part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  23. I really love your website.. Very nice colors & theme.

    Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my very own website and want to know where you got this from or
    what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

  24. Life is playing chess with God. You take one step, God takes one step. It is impossible for you to take every step, so you must take every step of your own. The final destiny is either you will have God’s army, or God will be your army.

  25. Maybe, there are ten people who want to step you under your feet, but your strength makes them have no chance to reach out. Don’t complain about this world’s weak meat and strong food, you will gradually discover.

  26. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the simplest
    thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely
    get annoyed while people think about worries that they just don’t know about.

    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out
    the whole thing without having side effect , people could
    take a signal. Will likely be back to get more.
    Thanks

  27. Does happiness hurt? Let her go, but not herself. Some things turn around for a lifetime. I didn’t know each other at first, but finally I didn’t know each other. If love is just passing by, why bother here. Some love, had to settle each other, suddenly looking back, I can no longer tell.

  28. Extraordinarily agreeably article . I couldn’t accord more on the information provided.

    What do you reflect on close to my placement ? polish city

  29. Good morning, We want to take this specific opportunity to invite you to post your business on All Vape Stores, a well known CBD and Vape Store Web Directory. A Tiny Bit about Us – All Vape Stores is a worldwide CBD and Vape Shop Directory that is intended to assist individuals find their nearby CBD and vape stores. We presently get over 100,000 unique and highly-targeted site visitors a month, mainly from the UK and UNITED STATES. We accomplish such a strong internet site target traffic number by running a very successful CBD and vape blog where we deal with the most up to date CBD and vape sector news, reviews and user tutorials. We likewise send out frequent daily newsletters to our subscribers when we publish new posts. By listing your business with All Vape Stores, you will get an opportunity to expand your brand’s publicity, site traffic and customer base. Clients will have the opportunity to get in touch with you via a contact form straight on your business listing page. Likewise, you will receive a back link from your profile which will aid you with your ONLINE MARKETING link building for organic search engine rankings. To list your business, please head to: https://allvapestores.com/ We look forward to seeing you on-board. Kind regards, All Vape Stores Team

  30. We are currently searching for individuals to review CBD items from leading CBD Brands on our blog at cbdlifemag.com. If anyone is interested, feel free to reply below or DM me and I will get some CBD products, including CBD Doobies, CBD E-JUICE and CBD Flower sent out to you for your review.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Call Now ButtonCALL ME NOW Scroll to Top