B.C. Judge: Holding Your Phone While Driving Violates the Motor Vehicle Act

A judge in British Columbia has ruled that holding your phone while driving is still a violation of the Motor Vehicle Act.

Kelowna, B.C. driver Samuel Austin Bainbridge was fined $368 in September 2016 and the judge upheld the penalty against him. In January 2018, Bainbridge argued the decision in court saying he was “only holding” the phone and was not actually using it. He said:

“I wasn’t communicating with anyone. Force of habit to have [the] phone in my hands.”

The two officers that pulled him over verified his statement and said they did not see the phone near his ear or his lips moving. During the appeal, he said that in previous cases the court said they must prove the person was using the phone. The Motor Vehicle Act says that use is “holding the device in a position in which it may be used.”

In the end, Judge Brian Burgess ruled that holding the device was just as dangerous as if he was using it. Bainbridge was then ordered to pay the fine.

[via CBC News]