A woman living in Saanich on Vancouver Island in British Columbia was issued a rather large ticket for distracted driving on New Year’s Eve. The ticket in question was for the sum of $368, however, her lawyer is fighting back and stating that it is invalid.
University of Victoria student and mother, Brittany Taylor, drove up to a red light on the corner of Sherbourne St. and McKenzie Ave. on the afternoon of December 31st, 2019. Once at the light, Taylor reached for her mounted phone on her dashboard and changed songs.
Taylor was then stopped and asked to pull over by a local officer of the Capital Regional District Integrated Traffic Safety Unit. The officer alerted Taylor that she would be issued a ticket for $368 and four demerit points on her driver’s licence, equalling a total of $578.
According to Peninsula News Review, Taylor said the officer told her that if she was using her phone to answer a call, she’d be able to press up to 10 buttons on the device. Taylor’s father, who was in the vehicle questioned the officer. In response to the father asking why his daughter wasn’t receiving a warning rather than a ticket, the officer responded by saying there was a “gray area” in the laws and it could be disputed in court.
After the incident, Taylor took to social media where she posted a tweet explaining the situation and asking for assistance in the matter.
My first driving violation in 10 years, $368 + 4 penality points and 210$ ICBC. Cellphone mounted/at a red light, I pressed my phone to change a song. Officer: "the law is gray and it's up to their discretion, I can dispute it" @IRPlawyer what do you think of this? pic.twitter.com/QIDcnXGhnh
— Monii Taylor (@brittneymtaylor) January 1, 2020
Not long after, Kyla Lee, an Immediate Roadside Prohibition lawyer took notice and replied. Lee wrote and stated that the ticket was invalid as it was written as a violation of a Class 7 restriction, while Taylor was in possession of a Class 5 licence. As Lee pointed out, drivers with a Class 5 licence can use a mounted device to answer the phone as long as it is voice-enabled or answered with one touch.
After discussing the matter with Lee and other helping members of the community, Taylor has decided to pursue a dispute.