What you need to know

  • A woman in her 70s got a $368 ticket for charging an iPhone in her cupholder.
  • She was looking straight ahead, with both hands on the steering wheel when the officer knocked on the window.
  • The phone was connected to CarPlay, so as to comply with driving legislation.

A woman in her 70s from Vancouver has received a $368 ticket for distracted driving after a Police Officer noticed an iPhone charging in her vehicle's cup holder. According to the woman's son Trevor Kramer, she was stopped at a red light when a Vancouver Police Officer, who was stood on the sidewalk peering into cars, knocked on her window. Recounting the incident Kramer wrote:

She initially thought he was a panhandler

"She says had both of her hands on her steering wheel and was looking forward, until he distracted her to give her a ticket for having a mobile device that she wasn't even looking at or touching at the time.

"As he handed her the ticket, she told the officer that it was her first one ever and he just looked at her. And how would using a mount vs. a cup holder change the interpretation of 'operating any of the device features or functions?'"

Kramer took to Twitter to vent his frustration, posting a photo of the phone in situe and the ticket that was issued (above). He tagged outspoken Vancouer lawyer Kyla Lee in the post, and the incident has gained enough aclaim to have been featured on regional news.

To add insult to injury, it is purported that the phone was connected to Bluetooth at the time of the incident, and that his mother specifically bought a car with CarPlay so as to comply with legislation.

CityNews1130 states the following regarding the response from Vancouver police:

In a statement, Vancouver police say anyone who is unhappy with a ticket or who thinks they've been treated unfairly can take the appropriate course of action by disputing the ticket through the courts.

While Constable Steve Addison says he doesn't know the specific circumstances of this case, "there is precedent that says a person can be ticketed for using and electronic device even if they are not touching it."

"This would apply if a device is turned on, within reach of the driver, and causing the driver to be distracted," he adds.