A pizza delivery driver flagged for speeding in Victoria Friday night is facing an even heftier fine after police found him using FaceTime while driving.
The shocking distracted driving maneuver was detected at a traffic stop near the busy intersection of Blanshard Street and Hillside Avenue.
“One of our traffic members pulled beside a pizza delivery driver as he was noted to be speeding,” said Const. Matt Rutherford of the Victoria Police Department.
“Much to the officer’s surprise, the driver was FaceTiming with somebody while driving.”
Shortly before 10 p.m., Victoria Police called out the fast food driver on social media for his alleged abuse of the app.
Legal experts say incidents of drivers using Apple’s video calling app are more common than expected.
“A lot of people, I think, treat their cars kind of like their living rooms,” criminal lawyer Kyla Lee told Global News. “They have a perception because of the safety and comfort of their car that they’re not going to be caught.”
Lee says despite inquiries from potential clients, she’s never defended anyone who’s received a distracted driving citation for allegedly FaceTiming behind the wheel.
Many accused drivers opt not to dispute their FaceTime fines in court because the evidence against them is usually strong, she says, and police often give the motorists a break on other offences by slapping them with a distracted driving ticket.
In the Victoria case, police say the driver was issued a $368 ticket for using an electronic device while driving.
“They could have been ticketed much more severely,” said Lee.
“The officer could have also ticketed the driver for speeding, which would itself carry with it another three points, which would give the driver a total of seven points just for this incident.”
A distracted driving enforcement project in September saw Victoria Police traffic officers issue 74 tickets to drivers for using electronic devices behind the wheel.
“That’s far too many,” said Chief Const. Del Manak ahead of a distracted driving community forum earlier this month designed to help gear people towards “safer roads with no distracted drivers.”
ICBC says on average, 77 people die every year in crashes where distracted driving is a contributing factor — a devastating reminder to hold that FaceTime call for when you’re parked at home.