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Old 03-29-2012, 07:41 PM   #1
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Default Cellphone ticket tossed out - distracted driving laws

Today, I see Ernie Galatiuk's case in Brandon was tossed by the Crown attorney before the case even made it to court.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/ ... 27355.html

I've been following Laszlo Piszker's pending cellphone ticket case in Winnipeg. The fine is $200 - a lot of money.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ ... nipeg.html

Both seniors claimed that they were not talking on a cellphone and and neither of them even own a cell phone.

My intent is not to criticize the police here. They have a tough enough job. Mistakes can easily be made etc. I think the distracted driving laws we have are needed.

My concern is - How do you defend yourself in these cases if you are innocent? It comes down to your word against the police officer.

Assuming that your are not using your phone but you do have one in your pocket or glove box etc., would you have any defense? Would you have to get your cell phone records? The police don't even seem to need to record any details of your phone. You might own 2 or 3 cell phones.

Maybe the police should have to see the phone and record its phone number on the ticket.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cellphone ticket tossed out - distracted driving laws

Cell phone records (LUDs aka line usage details) would prove your innocence. If your phone wasn't
actively in use at the time of the infraction, you'd be able to prove it. As an after thought, if
you do get stopped and charged, don't jump on your cell phone right after the cop leaves. It might
create a call record that they might argue was "close enough" to the time you were stopped and charged.

I still believe these laws are designed as consequence laws, rather than regularly enforced ones.
If something happens, and they can prove you were distracted at the time, they'll throw the book
at you, and your insurer may not be liable to pay for any consequences, as they can argue you
were doing something illegal when the incident occurred.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cellphone ticket tossed out - distracted driving laws

Some cops come off as hair trigger goons, sometimes seems best just to keep calm and non-confrontational until they go away.... I think I won't even suggest that I might fight it, because then they take mental note and might jot things down... and look for extra crutches... whereas if you act like it's a fair cop they forget about you... then you get them in court and they're gonna sound more unprepared...

But in the main, I go with the thrust of this...
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/201 ... many-laws/
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cellphone ticket tossed out - distracted driving laws

Have to agree the police have their hands full, and mistakes will happen. If it were to happen to me, I would try and explain it, but knowing that probably won't work, I'll take the ticket. The very next day, I would be at the phone office asking for a print-out of my time and usage portion of my bill; now we have the policemans word, but your usage chart showing it wasn't being used. All in all, I would believe a drop in the case would happen - before it got too involved. New arena, texting......that's the one that scares me to death. I was in a truck with a guy and when he started, I had him pull over - I cleared out. Not goody too shoes, but definitely want to live. Safe travels.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cellphone ticket tossed out - distracted driving laws

Quote:
Province drops cellphone case
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/ ... 97371.html

Quote:
The case against Laszlo Piszker for driving while using a cellphone -- a charge that caught the attention of the city -- was quietly dropped by the Crown this week.
Good to see it all got sorted out.

There must be be some tech device that will help police know instantly if there is a phone in the car and if it was used. It would help both the police and the public.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cellphone ticket tossed out - distracted driving laws

I'm not 100% sure but I think some states have laws permitting police to search a person's cell phone at the scene for call records. Again, not entirely sure about it, and in the case cited it didn't matter, because it appears the police went on their visual observations in laying a charge, excluding locating the device physically. I bet they were just pissed that the car didn't stop promptly, and decided to take a chance as punishment.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cellphone ticket tossed out - distracted driving laws

Some news about distracted driving laws, in particular increasing fines and adding driver's license demerit points to the penalties. Article suggests proposed legislation, not sure if/when it will be enacted.
The article also includes current definitions/fines/penalties across Canada by province.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/distracte ... -1.2576880

It suggests that more people are killed by distracted driving, than alcohol or speed (velocity), in Ontario. There is no official link or reference to the statistics cited, however.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cellphone ticket tossed out - distracted driving laws

There is a very good reason for the law and here is a good example:



I do not believe people should be ticketed if they look like they were on a phone but if they are, the fines should be greater. I see it all the time here. I was almost hit with my son (9 years old) by someone in a Walmart parking lot talking on their cell and not looking where they were going.

I also saw a post on Facebook where a person thought is was funny to bake cookies in the shape of a cell phone to make fun of police. That should be the same fine in my opinion.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cellphone ticket tossed out - distracted driving laws

We've all seen it, the late start when the light turns green, vehicles wandering in their lanes often outside them briefly, people making frighteningly dangerous poor judgement maneuvers. Usually with one hand covering one ear. Since cell phone use became more popular and widespread 2 decades ago, a lot of us could see this coming, that distracted driving would eventually become as common as impaired driving. It seems to have surpassed it in causing mayhem on the roads, in Ontario at least.
The problem is (just my opinion) that so many people do it, that politicians are afraid to punish it with legislation that 's as harsh as the penalties for impaired driving, just in case they get caught doing it.
I noticed that some provinces include young drivers aren't allowed to use hands-free devices, but that in Quebec which has some fairly draconian laws and rules for other things, that even hands-free appears to be globally forbidden as well.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cellphone ticket tossed out - distracted driving laws

Texting has reared its head as a source of wrecks with the advent of the iPhone. I remember before that, nobody in their right mind would be looking at their phone and trying to type while on the road.

SXSW showed that this is a common behavior now. I have dashcam vids of a woman who just stopped in the center of an intersection texting while everyone else is honking and struggling to get around her.

Not sure what the best laws on this will be, because in general, more laws tend to backfire. However, I do recommend people get dash cams (and know how to make them work) so if there is a wreck by someone texting, it will be obvious both in the criminal and civil trial.

In fact, new laws addressing texting are not really needed. Here in the US, there are criminal negligence and reckless driving laws that more than cover distracted driving in both civil and criminal courts.
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