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

Central Saanich councillor says council may re-examine speed limits in Brentwood Bay

Coun. Carl Jensen says he wouldn’t be surprised if council were to move on the issue

Local Monarchist says Saanich Peninsula would be a ‘great place’ for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Bruce Hallsor also expects the couple’s professional opportunities to lie outside Greater Victoria

Court rejects mistrial for accused Victoria drug dealer who fired his lawyer

Horst Schirmer filed a mistrial application on basis of receiving incompetent representation

Saanich seeks young residents to serve on 2020 advisory committees

Youth members must be between 16 and 24 years old

Victoria PD will continue to patrol James Bay for wolf seen Saturday

But police also say they will return to regular duties

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Kobe Bryant killed in California helicopter crash: reports

NBA star was reportedly in his private helicopter at the time of the crash

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Most Read