You can get a ticket even if your phone is on the passenger seat while you talk.
A Canadian judge has ruled that making a hands-free phone call in your car is worth a fine of up to $3,000. Late last year, a man and his wife were told to step out of their car after going through an automated car wash and were given a hefty ticket. According to police, the woman was holding the phone aloft while the man was making a call before the couple entered the car wash.
Every driver has experienced a moment when they need to make a call, be it for directions or an emergency. Whatever it is, most drivers choose the hands-free method, Bluetooth connecting their phones to the car. Apparently, a passenger holding a phone is a no-go.
Canada law prohibits cell phone use while driving unless the phone is hands-free. According to the court, your phone’s speakerphone option isn’t truly hands-free unless connected to the vehicle itself. Interesting.
Apparently, the court ruled that no matter where the phone is located in a car, using the hands-free option is not allowed because a device still needs to be used. The speakerphone option with your car’s Bluetooth or speaker connection is your only choice.
Jean-Sebastien Brunet, the judge responsible for the ruling says that it doesn’t matter if someone else is holding the phone or if it’s on the seat next to you, the fact that the phone needs to be interacted with at all is illegal.
The judge also says that the law isn’t clear enough when it comes to phone use in a car. In his eyes, laws in Canada are too vague for drivers to interpret and that any and all phone use should be banned in a moving vehicle.
Distracted driving is responsible for countless unavoidable deaths in Canada. In fact, distracted driving causes nearly 4 million accidents across Canada according to the RCMP.
In Canada, drivers face hefty fines of up to $3,000 for the first offence and double that for multiple offences. An automatic five demerit points and a license suspension is the standard when it comes to distracted driving fines.
Some exceptions for emergency calls are allowed but drivers need to stay alert no matter what. Even if you’re idling at a stop sign, under law, you’re still driving.
Please don’t text or call people while driving, ok?
If you must make a call, make sure to be connected to Bluetooth and don’t interact with your device at all to avoid getting a huge ticket.
And if your friends drive distracted all the time, tell them to stop for their own safety.