Police apologize, cancel B.C. senior’s distracted driving fine for cellphone in cup holder

Click to play video: 'BC senior gets slapped with a distracted driving charge' BC senior gets slapped with a distracted driving charge
WATCH: (Oct. 2) A BC senior receives a $368 distracted driving fine for having her phone in her cup holder. Sarah MacDonald explains – Oct 2, 2019

Vancouver police have apologized to a Richmond senior who was slapped with a $368 distracted driving fine for having her cellphone in her cup holder, and have cancelled the ticket.

Randi Kramer, who is in her 70s, was stopped near the Hotel Georgia in Vancouver Monday when an officer pulled her over and issued the fine, saying the phone was not allowed to be visible.

She said both of her hands were on the steering wheel, and she wasn’t looking at her phone when she was pulled over.

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

On Wednesday, Trevor Kramer said his mother was notified by Vancouver police that the ticket had been withdrawn.

“She was elated, I could hear the excitement in her voice,” he told Global News Radio’s Lynda Steele shortly after he received the good news.

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“It’s regrettable it had to go this route, but it shows the power of public opinion can sway these types of outcomes.”

LISTEN: Son of B.C. senior hit with distracted driving fine says ticket cancelled

Vancouver police confirmed the ticket had been voided, meaning it will not be forwarded to ICBC. Police would not comment further on the matter.

Kramer said the officer who contacted his mother apologized on behalf of both VPD and the officer who issued the fine.

The story of Randi’s ticket sparked outrage among critics who say B.C.’s distracted driving laws are too confusing and open to interpretation.

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

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Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee took on the case pro bono, and told Global News she was happy police made the right decision and did so quickly.

“Given the attention that’s been given to this story and the unique circumstances of Ms. Kramer, it has been potentially embarrassing to the Vancouver Police Department to have issued the ticket to someone like her,” Lee said.

Lee said she had filed a dispute to ICBC, but the news of the cancellation came before she had to do any more work on the case.

“They did the right thing,” she said.

Kramer said his mother’s story had been heard by people across the country, and is hopeful it will serve as an example in future distracted driving cases.

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“It’s something that has really resonated with the public, and it’s nice to see the VPD back down on something that was clearly a mistake,” he said.

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What are the distracted driving laws in B.C.? – Mar 20, 2019

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