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B.C. senior slapped with $368 distracted driving fine for cellphone in cup holder

WATCH ABOVE: A BC senior receives a $368 distracted driving fine for having her phone in her cup holder. Sarah MacDonald explains.

You may not think it’s considered distracted driving, but on Monday, a Richmond senior learned that placing your cellphone in your cup holder will land you a $368 distracted driving fine.

“I had both my hands on the steering wheel,” said Randi Kramer, who was stopped near the Hotel Georgia in Vancouver.

“It was an officer, he motioned me to pull over to the side of the road, he pointed at my phone in the cup holder and he said it cannot be in there plugged in, it has to not be visible.”

READ MORE: Distracted drivers in Saskatchewan focus of police in October

Kramer said she was very surprised, as she didn’t think she was breaking the law.

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Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee said the rules can be confusing, saying it’s not clear about what it’s trying to prohibit.

“The term ‘use’ in the Motor Vehicle Act is defined as including operating any of the features of the phone, and because one [of] the features of the phone is charging, that is sufficient to constitute use, even if it’s out of the way and you’re not looking at it or distracted in any way by it,” Lee said.

“When you hear the term ‘distracted driving’, which is how the government and police refer to the law, you think of something that you are doing that is distracting you from driving, not just a loose phone in your cup holder while it’s charging that you’re not paying any never-mind to.

“The government needs to communicate to the public what it is they are trying to prohibit.”

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READ MORE: B.C. judge rules having phone wedged in the car seat is not ‘distracted driving’

Back in March, a B.C. judge overturned a conviction for a local driver for having his phoned wedged in the car seat.

Kramer plans to dispute the ticket, and Lee has agreed to take the case pro bono.

WATCH: (April 18, 2019) Drive safe tips: Avoiding distracted driving

Drive safe tips: Avoiding distracted driving
Drive safe tips: Avoiding distracted driving
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