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Is Placing Your Phone in Cupholder Really an Offence?

Two drivers on Vancouver Island have been hit with distracted driving tickets for having their cellphones in cupholders.

This has sparked outrage among the driving public and there seems to be a lot of confusion around what it actually states in the Motor Vehicle Act.

Section 214.2 states that it’s illegal to communicate through an electronic device with another person or device through e-mail or another text-based message.

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Constable Pam Bolton said, “Is it illegal to have a phone just sitting in a cupholder while you’re not using it? No,” said Bolton. “That is not illegal because you are not using that device at that very moment.”

She explains a scenario that officers deem to be legal.

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“If you’re using the device and all it requires is one touch of the device to activate or deactivate, whatever function you’re trying to use, that’s ok,” said Bolton.

“If you were on the side of the road and you enter an address into a GPS that is securely fastened to your motor vehicle and then you press start while in motion, that’s ok because it’s one touch of the device,” said Bolton.

Anything that takes your eyes off the road can result in a distracted driving ticket.

Examples of distracted driving, other than the use of electronics, include reading, eating, and putting on make-up while your driving.

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