Cell Phone Tickets/Distracted Driving
In BC, cell phone-related tickets are considered “high-risk” driving offences and come with very steep consequences. The minimum penalty for using an electronic device while driving is a $368 fine and 4 points against your driving record.
The addition of a cell phone-related ticket to your driving record may also result in you being prohibited from driving for several months by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. For those in the Graduated Licencing Program (“N” or “L” drivers), a single cell phone-related ticket will likely trigger a multi-month driving prohibition if it is not successfully disputed.
For those who hold a Class 5 or Class 1 driver’s licence, a single cell phone-related ticket is less likely to trigger a driving prohibition if you have an otherwise good driving record and have not committed any other high-risk driving offences within the past year. However, we still recommend disputing all cell phone-related tickets due to the serious consequences that can flow from such tickets. Should you receive and fail to successfully dispute a second ticket for a high-risk driving offence within one year (including another cell phone-related ticket), this will likely result in a driving prohibition in the range of 3 to 12 months. For more information on high-risk driving offences and their consequences, click here.
Cell phone-related offences include "using an electronic device while driving" and "texting or emailing while driving". In regards to the offence of "using a cell phone while driving", the term "use" is defined very broadly. For example, if, while stopped at a red light, you pick up your phone to plug it into a charger, this constitutes "use" of your cell phone under the law. Similarly, if your phone is sitting on the passenger seat or in your cup holder and you glance at the screen to read a text message you just received, this also constitutes "use" of your cell phone. If you are in the Graduated Licencing Program, you are not permitted to use any electronic device while driving, for any purpose, even in hands-free mode.
Our lawyers have extensive experience defending cell phone-related driving tickets. Call us today to discuss how we dispute your ticket on your behalf.
Please note you only have 30 days from the date you received your ticket to dispute a ticket. Do not wait to call our lawyers to discuss your case.