The ticket Brittney Taylor received was for a violation of a Class 7 license restriction, but she has had a Class 5 license for more than six years. (Photo courtesy Brittany Taylor)

Saanich mom gets $368 traffic ticket for touching phone mounted to dashboard

Lawyer says ticket is ‘invalid’ and officer gave inaccurate information

A Saanich mom received a hefty distracted driving ticket on New Year’s Eve day and her lawyer says it’s invalid.

Brittney Taylor, a psychology student at the University of Victoria and single mom, came to a stop at a red light near the intersection of Shelbourne Street and McKenzie Avenue around 2 p.m. on Dec. 31 and touched her cell phone – which she said was “securely mounted” on her dash – to change the song.

Taylor was stopped by an officer from the Capital Regional District Integrated Traffic Safety Unit who asked her to pull over. The officer explained that Taylor would be issued a $368 ticket for “scrolling” on her phone and four demerit points on her licence for a total of $578. She said the officer explained that if she’d simply been answering the phone, she’d have been allowed to press up to 10 buttons.

Taylor pointed out that her driving record was “completely clean” before the incident. She’s been driving for more than 10 years with no issues and always making sure to wear a seatbelt, drive the speed limit and keep her cell phone mounted on her dash.

READ ALSO: What exactly counts as distracted driving in B.C.?

“He gave me the ticket after checking my record and specifically saying how my record was immaculate with no priors,” Taylor said, noting she’d been in tears over the cost of the ticket.“I’m a struggling student that goes to the food bank monthly and tries to keep a roof over my daughter’s head.”

Taylor’s father, who was in the passenger seat at the time, asked the officer why she wasn’t receiving a warning as she had a clean driving record. The officer told them that there’s “grey area” in the distracted driving laws and that Taylor could dispute the fine in court.

After the incident, Taylor took to Twitter to voice her anger and Vancouver-based Immediate Roadside Prohibition lawyer Kyla Lee replied.

Lee wrote that the ticket should be cancelled because it was issued for violating a Class 7 restriction – use of an electronic device while driving – under the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) which doesn’t apply to Taylor’s Class 5 license.

“The entire ticket itself is invalid and the information the officer gave her is wrong,” Lee told Saanich News.

READ ALSO: Unclear laws to blame for cupholder cellphone tickets: lawyer

She noted that according to the MVA, there is zero-tolerance for use of electronic devices for N and L drivers with a Class 7 license. However, drivers with a full licence – Class 5 – are allowed to use a device for calls as long as it’s mounted to the dash and either voice-activated or can be answered with one touch.

Lee emphasized that the lack of clarity surrounding the law is the reason people end up violating it or getting ticketed incorrectly.

“This grey area of distracted driving needs to be immediately addressed,” Taylor said.

After speaking with Lee – who feels she’s one of the few people who fully understand the law as she’s been over it hundreds of times – Taylor decided to dispute the ticket.

Lee pointed out that the legislation would need to be amended by the B.C. government, but doesn’t see that happening any time soon. For now, she’s happy to act as a resource for people struggling to navigate the regulations and is open to calls and messages through Twitter and Instagram.

Saanich News has reached out to the CRD Integrated Traffic Safety Unit for comment.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Frontline volunteers bring handwashing stations to Pandora tent city and beyond

‘The basic premise of this is to fight COVID-19 … right?’

Crash snarls early morning Malahat traffic

Traffic backed up near Okotoks Drive

Victoria councillors want city greenhouses used for food production during COVID-19

Couns. Ben Isitt and Jeremy Loveday are proposing new food security strategies

COVID-19: Access school resources with new virtual education hub

Shaw and EVERFI create onling learning resource for Canadian youth

West Shore podcast highlights COVID-19 pandemic and local businesses

Westshore Business podcast to look at how businesses handle COVID-19

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Most Read