Vancouver woman in her 70s gets driving ticket for iPhone charging in cup holder

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.

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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.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

6 Comments
  • Won't stand up in court.
  • How about denouncing police officers who use electronic devices in their patrol cars? I would say their radios are distracting, their lights are distracting, and using their phones while driving is distracting despite using bluetooth. This is a case of a stupid call by a police officer on a not-thought-thouroughly local regulation. Seems that he needed to justify his job and ticket quota as he found himself without nothing to do that day like chasing real criminals. Well, this is your tax dollars at work!
  • "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. You mean like my radio, back up camera screen, speedometer, navigation screen, other gauges, all of which are standard on my car and electronic? That's the problem with these laws. They are way to open to arbitrary interpretation and enforcement. There should be a requirement for proof of distraction, i.e. caused an accident. Then you up the penalty. This is just ludicrous. The screen even appears to be off.
  • A Tesla is an electronic device.
  • Only in America. That being said they've been thinking of trying to make hands-free devices illegal here in the UK, which is completely farcical, I don't even know how they'd begin to legislate that
  • Vancouver is in Canada. (Unless you meant “North America”)