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  #1  
Old 06-11-2010, 04:55 PM
Galileo Galileo is offline
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Fighting a ticket about holding a cell phone

Recently, I received a ticket for violating Section 78.1 of the Ontario Highway Act, which says:
Quote:
No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other prescribed device that is capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages.
My car has a built-in Bluetooth hands-free system that connects to my iPhone which I keep in my pocket while I'm driving. When I was deciding which car to buy, it was important to me to get a good implementation of Bluetooth dialing. In the car that I chose, I can access all phone functions from the steering wheel or by using voice-recognition. There's also a display in the dash that shows my phone list and the cell service signal strength.

I was driving when I noticed that I had no signal strength. I wasn't sure whether the problem was with the Bluetooth connection or with my iPhone. At the next red light, I grabbed my iPhone out of my pocket and I looked at the signal strength. (I could have waited to arrive at my destination before starting to diagnose the problem, but I was curious, it took only two seconds while waiting at a red light, and I was going look after the problem when I arrived at my destination in about five minutes.) There was a police cruiser right next to my car and the officer motioned me to pull over.

I told him that my car has built-in Bluetooth and that all I was doing was checking the signal strength. He said that I violated the law because I was holding a hand-held wireless device, and he gave me a ticket. He said that I shouldn't be checking the signal strength while driving.

Okay, I see that I violated the letter of the law, but it seems crazy to get a ticket for looking at a cell phone when I was not using it, had not used it, nor had any intention to use it. (But, I can appreciate the argument that, if I wasn't planning on fixing the problem while driving, why was I diagnosing it while driving?)

I have scheduled a "First Attendance" to discuss the charges with the prosecutor. If we can't come up with a suitable resolution, then the case will proceed to trial. My basic argument will be that the ticket violates the basic intent of the law, which is to make streets safer by minimizing distractions while driving and to punish those drivers who endanger themselves and others by driving while distracted by holding and talking on a phone. I think that the legislators put a reference to "holding or using" to avoid someone getting off on a technicality, namely, they were talking on the phone for several minutes but, at the moment that a police officer saw them, the phone call was over, so they weren't "using" the phone.

So what did I do wrong? I deliberately chose a car that offered the least distracting way of talking while driving. (I realize that in some jurisdictions it is against the law to use a cell phone while driving, regardless of whether the phone is hands-free. But, that's not the case in Ontario.) It seems to me that holding and looking at a cell phone is fundamentally different from using a cell phone, especially when I am stopped at a red light where there is zero danger of causing an accident by looking away from the road for two seconds. (A phone call, though, is almost always longer than the time at a red light, so I can see why it's still against the law to use a hand-held device while stopped at a red light.)

Also, although using an add-on Bluetooth device is allowed (and even encouraged for those who need to make a phone call in the car), there doesn't seem to have been much thought by the legislators about the actual use of add-on Bluetooth devices. You can't dial out "hands free". At the very least, you have to take one hand off the steering wheel and press a button to re-dial or dial a previously stored number, but for other numbers, you have to pick up your phone and dial, and then have the conversation using the Bluetooth device. In other words, you have to "hold" the phone at some point in the process. Does the law mean that all you can do is receive calls but not initiate a call? If not, then what does "holding" mean in the law that prohibits driving while "holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device"?

And, here's a nit-picky argument that I'm pretty sure won't go over well with the prosecutor: What does "using" mean? It is not against the law to use a hands-free device linked to cell phone but, if I do so, am I not still "using" the hand-held device? Does a hand-held device stop being "hand-held" when I am not holding it? If the answer is "Of course not, but that's not what the law means", then the question is: What does the law mean, and is that meaning consistent with giving someone a ticket for holding a phone in car and looking at it to check the signal strength?

Anyway, I don't want to plead guilty. I haven't had a ticket in over 10 years and I feel that I should not have the violation on my record.

Any suggestions about what to say to the prosecutor?
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2010, 05:14 PM
GrandWino GrandWino is offline
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I don't know. I think the ticket is legitimate according to the law. Even though you weren't speaking on the phone, you were still "using" it. You could try arguing your case but I wouldn't be too hopeful of having it go your way. The judge might throw it out though based on your previous driving record.
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2010, 05:19 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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If I understand it, you were stopped at a red light when you had the device in your hand. How can that be called "driving"? If it is, then is stopping by the side of the road to read a map or eat lunch also "driving"? Then I guess you couldn't take a nap in a parked car, either, for fear of being called an inattentive "driver".
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  #4  
Old 06-11-2010, 05:25 PM
Giles Giles is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
If I understand it, you were stopped at a red light when you had the device in your hand. How can that be called "driving"? If it is, then is stopping by the side of the road to read a map or eat lunch also "driving"? Then I guess you couldn't take a nap in a parked car, either, for fear of being called an inattentive "driver".
There's an exception in the statute to cover that:
Quote:
(6) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply if all of the following conditions are met:

1. The motor vehicle is off the roadway or is lawfully parked on the roadway.

2. The motor vehicle is not in motion.

3. The motor vehicle is not impeding traffic. 2009, c. 4, s. 2.
When you're at a traffic light, you could start driving again at any time, still holding the device.
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  #5  
Old 06-11-2010, 06:03 PM
Galileo Galileo is offline
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Giles, the statute says "if all of the following conditions are met".

The traffic light wasn't "off the roadway" and the car wasn't "lawfully parked".

Thanks anyway.

Last edited by Galileo; 06-11-2010 at 06:04 PM..
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2010, 07:11 PM
JSexton JSexton is offline
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Giles is agreeing with you. He's saying that Musicat's scenarios don't apply, because taking a nap in a car or being legally parked on the side of the road meets all 3 conditions, where's stopping at a red light does not.
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  #7  
Old 06-11-2010, 07:27 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is online now
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Guilty as charged.

It doesn't matter whether you were checking the signal strength or reading a text message, you had your wire-less device in your hand while operating a motor vehicle. All intentions aside, that is what you were doing.

I wouldn't waste money fighting it. It seem very clear cut to me.
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2010, 08:50 PM
Geek Mecha Geek Mecha is offline
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As a pedestrian, let me say this:

If you were in your car, the engine was running, and you moved your attention from the road to your cell phone, you should not fight the ticket.

The nitpicks about what defines "using" a phone and "driving" come across as attempts by you to talk your way out of a deserved penalty. "Hit by car" is going to be the same to me no matter what you were or weren't technically doing.
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2010, 08:57 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geek Mecha View Post
As a pedestrian, let me say this:

If you were in your car, the engine was running, and you moved your attention from the road to your cell phone, you should not fight the ticket.

The nitpicks about what defines "using" a phone and "driving" come across as attempts by you to talk your way out of a deserved penalty. "Hit by car" is going to be the same to me no matter what you were or weren't technically doing.
Usually I'd be with you given I hate people using cell phones while driving, but not this time. The OP was stopped at a red light when s/he looked at it.
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2010, 09:01 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I vote for you deserve the ticket. The cops should not have to determine was the phone switched on, was he idling versus moving etc.

Full disclosure: I am radically opposed to cellphone use in cars. I have seen studies that indicate even hands-free devices divert attention more than even holding a conversation with someone who is physically in the car. I could probably find one if I Google it right now, but I'm about to head out.
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  #11  
Old 06-11-2010, 09:11 PM
Geek Mecha Geek Mecha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Usually I'd be with you given I hate people using cell phones while driving, but not this time. The OP was stopped at a red light when s/he looked at it.
A handful of times, I have been in crosswalks, walking in front of stopped cars whose drivers would lightly press on the gas pedal in anticipation of the light turning green. They were distracted by their phones or their passengers, and presumably relying on peripheral vision to detect when cars stopped or started moving. They didn't see me (a smaller figure) at all.

Needless to say, this is extremely dangerous for pedestrians, who are in the middle of a street and have limited escape ability or options.

I know not everyone is a dickhead driver, but I have no way of discerning those who are from those who aren't. As a matter of personal safety, I have to assume everyone's as bad as the worst.
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2010, 09:15 PM
Heffalump and Roo Heffalump and Roo is offline
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I'm on the side of those who feel that you deserve the ticket. You were looking down at the phone when you received the ticket. That's not a technicality to me. It is just that diversion from attention that causes accidents. It doesn't matter whether you intended to actually talk on the phone or not.
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2010, 09:28 PM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Different jurisdiction obviously but I got booked for the same thing a while ago. Chatting to the cop while he issued the ticket he told me that the offence was committed "as soon as you took the phone out of your pocket. Even if you been going to throw it at someone, you were "using" it."

What did you expect, that the cop should follow you to see if you put it away? Like me you were too distracted by the phone to even notice that there was a cop around, so do what I did and just accept it. And stop using your phone while driving.
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2010, 09:37 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is online now
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My two cents.

IMO you are better off admitting you were technically (or actually even) violating the law but not the spirit of the law (assuming you were safely stopped blah blah blah).

IF you do that, the judge may reduce the charge or just give you a warning.

OTOH, IMO if you actually try to pull some slick legal wrangling to prove your technical innocence, I think the judge is just going to nail you.
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  #15  
Old 06-11-2010, 09:57 PM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
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Question for those who see him as 100% guilty, off with his head, etc. [Devil's Advocate Mode]

Should someone also be penalized if they reach over (at a stop light remember) to change the AC settings or turn up the volume on the radio? After all, their attention isn't on the road at that moment (even if the car is motionless). I say this as someone who doesn't like to use a cell phone while driving (seeing as I drive stick, it would be problematic anyway) and finds the general practice of doing so by other abhorrent.
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  #16  
Old 06-11-2010, 09:58 PM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
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I'm really glad you got the ticket and posted about it because I would never have imagined the law would be intepreted this way. I guess I'll stop checking msgs at red lights.
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2010, 10:09 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John DiFool View Post
Question for those who see him as 100% guilty, off with his head, etc. [Devil's Advocate Mode]

Should someone also be penalized if they reach over (at a stop light remember) to change the AC settings or turn up the volume on the radio? After all, their attention isn't on the road at that moment (even if the car is motionless). I say this as someone who doesn't like to use a cell phone while driving (seeing as I drive stick, it would be problematic anyway) and finds the general practice of doing so by other abhorrent.
Except that you fiddle with the AC for a minute tops, while dudes blather on and on and on for hours on their phones, which after a while cause them to drift off into a sort of zone where they have no fucking idea of what is going on around them- they start driving slow and weaving a bit. If anything comes up, they will crash. For some reason, this zoning out does not occur when talking with a passenger.

The use of the Hand-free does not make the call any less distracting, all it does is make sure you have both hands ready. As has been seen, the "hands-free" laws do not seem to be reducing accidents much. What is needed is "no talking on the damn phone already" laws- and mostly, the hands-free laws seem to be precursors to such laws. Of course the cell phone providers are fighting such laws tooth and nail.

Thus, even with a hand-free device, you are driving stupid if you talk on the phone while driving. Thereby the ticket is richly deserved. IMHO.
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  #18  
Old 06-11-2010, 10:13 PM
Rick Rick is online now
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While I agree that the law as written is a bit overboard (so what is the difference between say, reaching into your pocket and handing your cell phone to your passenger, and reaching into your pocket and handing your passenger, oh say, a pen? Other than handing them the cell phone gets you a ticket?)
I am reminded of what a cop buddy of mine told me once.
"If you get a ticket you think you did not deserve, think of all the times you deserved one and did not get one." I don't know about you, but I am way, way ahead on that deal.
My advice? If you can afford the time off, go to court, perhaps the judge will knock down the fine. If you can't get the time off, pay the cite and move on. I doubt you can get it dismissed.
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  #19  
Old 06-11-2010, 10:15 PM
Trepa Mayfield Trepa Mayfield is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
For some reason, this zoning out does not occur when talking with a passenger.
It's because a passenger will subconciously tune his conversation to the surrounding road. While the passenger may be fully animated at a stoplight, he or she will automatically slow down once they start moving, stop when things get hairy, and otherwise help the driver pay attention when he or she needs to. The person on the other end of the phone, not being able to see the environment directly surrounding the car, cannot do such things.

Last edited by Trepa Mayfield; 06-11-2010 at 10:15 PM..
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  #20  
Old 06-11-2010, 10:40 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
I vote for you deserve the ticket. The cops should not have to determine was the phone switched on, was he idling versus moving etc.

Full disclosure: I am radically opposed to cellphone use in cars. I have seen studies that indicate even hands-free devices divert attention more than even holding a conversation with someone who is physically in the car. I could probably find one if I Google it right now, but I'm about to head out.
Same here. You were operating a motor vehicle on a public road at the time. That you were stopped at a red light is irrelevant as is the action you were just looking at the phone to view signal strength. That action means you were "operating" the phone. Suck it up. Pay the fine. Move on.

FYI - Washington State just went live this week with its new hands free law. Previously, operating a cell phone while driving was a secondary offense. The police had to cite you for something else in order to cite you for operating a cell phone. This week the law went into effect making it a primary offense. The entire Left Coast is now a primary offense. The Washington State Patrol issued an advisory about the new law. You will be cited if your vehicle is on the public right of way and you operate a cell phone. It does not matter if the vehicle engine is on or off, nor if the vehicle is moving or stopped, or even parked. You must be off the public right of way completely to operate a cell phone in a vehicle as the driver.

Full disclosure: I'm also opposed to cell phone use in a vehicle. I also work for an employer that prohibits use of a cell phone similar to the requirements of the state law. My employer also goes further and prohibits us from talking with anyone who may be on using a cell phone while in a vehicle and "driving." So I could be on a landline talking with someone else. If they are on a cell phone, I'm required to ask them if they are in a vehicle and being a driver (on the right of way or not, moving or not). If so, I am required to terminate the call. If I violate my employer's direction, I'm subject to fines up to $5,000 and six months in jail. I could also be removed from my job. I work for the feds.

Last edited by Duckster; 06-11-2010 at 10:43 PM..
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  #21  
Old 06-11-2010, 11:09 PM
tumbleddown tumbleddown is offline
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
While I agree that the law as written is a bit overboard (so what is the difference between say, reaching into your pocket and handing your cell phone to your passenger, and reaching into your pocket and handing your passenger, oh say, a pen? Other than handing them the cell phone gets you a ticket?)
This is what gets me. Having something in your hand is not the same as using it. Having discretion to ignore, warn or ticket, the cop chose to give a ticket for an offense which may have been technically illegal, but which had absolutely zero effect on anyone, anywhere, at any time. It's rather chilling to me to see people applauding the notion of citations being issued and deserved for doing something that, in the given situation could not and did not even run the risk of causing any harm to anyone.

I'm all for tickets for violations of safety. I'm in favor of laws against cell phone use while driving. But as described, that's not what this was. This was a cop getting closer to his monthly quota by being a stickler for a poorly written law in an instance where he certainly didn't have to be.
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  #22  
Old 06-11-2010, 11:27 PM
Race Harley Race Harley is offline
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Pay the ticket and look at it as a lesson learned.
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  #23  
Old 06-12-2010, 12:03 AM
Rick Rick is online now
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Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
You will be cited if your vehicle is on the public right of way and you operate a cell phone. It does not matter if the vehicle engine is on or off, nor if the vehicle is moving or stopped, or even parked. You must be off the public right of way completely to operate a cell phone in a vehicle as the driver
This (if you are correct) is officially stupid. It will be in the finals for the dumbest law of the year.
If I am legally parked with the engine off, I would love to hear the argument that I am endangering the public by using my cell phone.
[Ron White] I'm listening[/RW]
This is revenue generation pure and simple. Not safety, revenue generation. A cell phone tax if you will.
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  #24  
Old 06-12-2010, 12:29 AM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Guilty as Charged.

You were on the road, in your vehicle, holding and using a cellphone. The officer saw you with it in your hand. It is only your word that you "just looked at it for two seconds", and that is about as convincing in court as the people pulled over for DUI who claim they only had one beer.

Next time pull into a parking lot to check out the phone and bluetooth connection.
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:35 AM
Heffalump and Roo Heffalump and Roo is offline
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Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
You will be cited if your vehicle is on the public right of way and you operate a cell phone.
For purposes of this law, does a public right of way include a parking lot in front of say, a store or car dealer? It's open to the public but is actually privately owned by the store or car dealer.
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  #26  
Old 06-12-2010, 02:05 AM
The Tao's Revenge The Tao's Revenge is offline
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How is checking the signal "using" a cellphone? If there was a law against using pencils would checking a pencil to see if it needs sharpened be "using" it?
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  #27  
Old 06-12-2010, 02:21 AM
Declan Declan is online now
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Originally Posted by The Tao's Revenge View Post
How is checking the signal "using" a cellphone? If there was a law against using pencils would checking a pencil to see if it needs sharpened be "using" it?
Cell phone laws are political laws, simply holding the device constitutes using.

For the OP , you were not checking signal strength, you were about to phone 911 in regards to a drunk driver.

Declan
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  #28  
Old 06-12-2010, 02:52 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by pedescribe View Post
It's because a passenger will subconciously tune his conversation to the surrounding road. While the passenger may be fully animated at a stoplight, he or she will automatically slow down once they start moving, stop when things get hairy, and otherwise help the driver pay attention when he or she needs to. The person on the other end of the phone, not being able to see the environment directly surrounding the car, cannot do such things.
Sounds good to me.
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  #29  
Old 06-12-2010, 06:44 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Originally Posted by Declan View Post
Cell phone laws are political laws, simply holding the device constitutes using.

For the OP , you were not checking signal strength, you were about to phone 911 in regards to a drunk driver.
Which, given the strictness of the law, would also get you convicted. Moral: don't help anyone by calling 911; it could cost you.
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:17 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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Hey, if it helps you to get over it by calling it a 'tax', go with that.

I don't believe you'll succeed in your endeavor to get it reversed, as I too think you're guilty.

Expecting a police officer to distinguish between, holding and using, is ridiculous. We all want to see this law enforced and respected, so I doubt you're going to get any support, honestly.
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  #31  
Old 06-12-2010, 07:35 AM
Acid Lamp Acid Lamp is offline
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I'd just pay the thing and move on personally. I agree that you were not operating the phone though. Just looking at it is not operating it, operating requires an action for og's sake.

Quote:
op·er·ate (p-rt)
v. op·er·at·ed, op·er·at·ing, op·er·ates
v.intr.
1. To perform a function; work: The motor operates smoothly.
2. To perform surgery.
3.
a. To exert an influence: forces operating on the economy.
b. To produce a desired or proper effect: a drug that operates quickly.
4. To carry on a military or naval action or campaign.
5. Informal To conduct business in an irregular or devious manner: drug dealers operating in residential and urban areas.
v.tr.
1. To control the functioning of; run: operate a sewing machine.
2. To conduct the affairs of; manage: operate a business.
bolding mine

I don't think that looking at the screen for a moment constitutes that at all, BUT since you were holding it, you'll be hard pressed to prove your case.

Last edited by Acid Lamp; 06-12-2010 at 07:36 AM..
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  #32  
Old 06-12-2010, 08:04 AM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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I regards to not being able to dial out with a hands free phone. Don't do it while driving, answering the phone is bad enough but I can see where dialing out is the ultimate distraction.

Pay the ticket. You were using the phone.
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  #33  
Old 06-12-2010, 09:20 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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It doesn't matter at all if the phone was in use.

Quote:
No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other prescribed device that is capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages.
My question is: were you on a highway? Typically, you don't find traffic lights on most highways, but I have no idea if, legally speaking, "highway" means the same as "paved road".

ETA: Really, I think you're best move is going to be to just suck it up and pay the fine. Maybe argue that you deserve a lesser penalty, but I there's not a lot of wiggle room in that law, I don't think.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-12-2010 at 09:24 AM..
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  #34  
Old 06-12-2010, 09:27 AM
Galileo Galileo is offline
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Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions.

Okay, it seems that I have practically zero chance of getting this dismissed. I don't care about the fine so having it reduced will not be satisying. It seems that the only hope of getting off is if the police officer fails to provide adequate testimony to establish that I indeed violated the law. Not clear which facts need to be established, and I'm not really interested in going to court. For now, I am scheduled to discuss this with the prosecutor.

Also, I realize that traffic court is not the place to engage in arguments about the wording of a law (so I won't do that), but I'm wondering about the use of the word or in "holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device". How can the device be used without holding it?
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:31 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galileo View Post
Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions.

Okay, it seems that I have practically zero chance of getting this dismissed. I don't care about the fine so having it reduced will not be satisying. It seems that the only hope of getting off is if the police officer fails to provide adequate testimony to establish that I indeed violated the law. Not clear which facts need to be established, and I'm not really interested in going to court. For now, I am scheduled to discuss this with the prosecutor.

Also, I realize that traffic court is not the place to engage in arguments about the wording of a law (so I won't do that), but I'm wondering about the use of the word or in "holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device". How can the device be used without holding it?
The problem is that the device can be held without using it, thus necessitating an "or". It could be read as "holding without using or holding while using" if that makes it clearer for you.
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  #36  
Old 06-12-2010, 09:43 AM
Galileo Galileo is offline
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In that case, the law should just say "while holding." What is the point of stipulating "using"?
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  #37  
Old 06-12-2010, 09:54 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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Originally Posted by Galileo View Post
In that case, the law should just say "while holding." What is the point of stipulating "using"?
Because you could use your phone without holding it, like with your Bluetooth device. The way I read it, that's illegal in Ontario too.
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  #38  
Old 06-12-2010, 10:01 AM
The Tao's Revenge The Tao's Revenge is offline
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Wow these laws are dumb, then. I have a phone with a built in GPS navigation system. I also have a mount on my dash for it. It gives me voice directions as I drive so I don't have to fiddle with a map while driving on strange roads. The holder is mounted so I can take a glance at without taking my eyes off the road. Because it gives me directions as I drive it lets me put all my attention on the road, instead of dividing it between driving and wondering if that's my turn.

However in Ontario, that law as written would make me a criminal. It sounds like lazy cops in need of money. They could have outlawed talking and texting on your phone. It'd be easy to prove. Pull over a suspected texter/talker, and get the number off their phone and subpoena the phone company, or outlaw driving while distracted, which is where the danger comes from.

No instead merely harmlessly touching it at a stoplight is bad juju. Whoever wrote the text of this law needs a sound kidney punch for stupidity. A zero tolerance law that convicts people even when they've committed no harm is a bad law.
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  #39  
Old 06-12-2010, 10:15 AM
Galileo Galileo is offline
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Because you could use your phone without holding it, like with your Bluetooth device. The way I read it, that's illegal in Ontario too.
Well, that's kind of my point: In Ontario, it is not illegal to talk on the phone while using a hands-free Bluetooth device, even though (as I argued in my OP), you are still "using" a hand-held device.
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  #40  
Old 06-12-2010, 10:38 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galileo View Post
Well, that's kind of my point: In Ontario, it is not illegal to talk on the phone while using a hands-free Bluetooth device, even though (as I argued in my OP), you are still "using" a hand-held device.
cite?
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  #41  
Old 06-12-2010, 10:52 AM
Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party is offline
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The law, in this case, is an ass. I'd fight it. I recently got out of a fine (£60!) for another idiotic traffic law by simply writing to the clerk of the court, explaining my circumstances.
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  #42  
Old 06-12-2010, 11:07 AM
Galileo Galileo is offline
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
cite?
http://www.caasco.com/community/road...egislation.jsp
Quote:
The new law applies only to hand-held wireless communications and hand-held electronic entertainment devices. This means drivers must only use wireless devices that can be used in a "hands-free" manner:

* a cell phone with an earpiece or headset using voice dialling, or plugged into the vehicle's sound system
* a global positioning system (GPS) device that is properly secured to the dashboard or another accessible place in the vehicle
* a portable audio player that has been plugged into the vehicle’s sound system.

Some wireless devices require that users push a button to activate and/or deactivate the device's "hands-free" function. This activity is permitted under the law.
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  #43  
Old 06-12-2010, 11:31 AM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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My GPS is my phone. And while I use an earpiece with it while using it, sometimes I have to look at the map, which requires touching the phone because I have no mount for it. So I would be screwed if Ii lived where the OP does. But picking up a paper map and reading it at the light would be okay, even though that takes much more time and concentration.
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  #44  
Old 06-12-2010, 12:03 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Quick question:
Did you actually make a call prior or during the time the ticket was issued?
That should show up on your cell phone bill.

I mention this as a friend of mine drives his car with his left arm up by his head and got pulled over - the cop thought he was talking on his cell phone. My friend said it was a bad habit of having his arm up, but he made no call and his cell was actually in the back seat in his briefcase. He showed the cop his phone, showed that he had not made a phone call in over an hour and the cop let him go.

So, don't know how it would hold up in court, but if your ticket was written at 10:35 AM and you can prove you didn't make a call from 10:00 until 10:50 AM, well - sounds like you might have a case.
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  #45  
Old 06-12-2010, 12:07 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Look we all get tickets, and no one likes it. But so what? There are SO many things in this world to get your back up on, but this isn't one of them.

Pay your ticket and forget it. And ask yourself do you even need a cell phone in the car? No you don't. Stick a cell phone in your purse and if your car breaks down use it. Otherwise just wait till you get home to make your phone calls. Unless your a brain surgeon on call nothing is that important where it can't wait. 10 years ago it waited and we all were just fine with it.

All that is gonna happen is you're going to go to court and with a 99% probablity you'll lose and it'll only make yourself get madder.

So pay the fine, and look at it as a life lesson.
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  #46  
Old 06-12-2010, 12:35 PM
Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party is offline
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Oh fuck off. Fight the damned ticket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx
And ask yourself do you even need a cell phone in the car? No you don't.
How the fuck do you know what he does and doesn't need?
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  #47  
Old 06-12-2010, 01:30 PM
CrazyCatLady CrazyCatLady is offline
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Fight it with what, precisely? The law says you are not allowed to hold a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. The OP freely admits he had the phone in his hot little hand while behind the wheel of a running, though temporarily stationary, car. Regardless of what one thinks of the law's merits, he very clearly and unambiguously broke said law right in front of a cop. He can throw himself on the mercy of the prosecutor, but he has no valid legal grounds argue that the ticket should be dismissed.
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  #48  
Old 06-12-2010, 01:36 PM
hogarth hogarth is offline
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Originally Posted by Galileo View Post
Okay, it seems that I have practically zero chance of getting this dismissed.
By the way, my wife has gotten three tickets (in Toronto) and opted for court each time. Twice the ticket was dismissed because the issuing officer didn't show up, and once they dismissed the ticket before the court date (no reason given). So I wouldn't say "zero chance", from my experience.
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  #49  
Old 06-12-2010, 01:48 PM
Declan Declan is online now
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Fighting a ticket about holding a cell phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Which, given the strictness of the law, would also get you convicted. Moral: don't help anyone by calling 911; it could cost you.
Actuall going by what little I did read when the diktat came down from queens park, exmptions are off or on duty cops, ems people, and I believe making emergency calls.

I don't know the validity of that yet, as the cops are just starting now to ramp up giving out tickets, now that the grace period is over, but we still have signage up for reporting drunk drivers via calling 911.

Course you could have the passenger call, if you have one. Or pull off to the side of the road, if you remembered to get the plate and model of the other car.

Declan
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  #50  
Old 06-12-2010, 03:26 PM
Rick Rick is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark View Post
So, don't know how it would hold up in court, but if your ticket was written at 10:35 AM and you can prove you didn't make a call from 10:00 until 10:50 AM, well - sounds like you might have a case.
The problem here is you can't prove that the phone bill you are presenting in court is for the phone that was in your possession on the date/time in question.
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