Briefly handling your cellphone while behind the wheel
should not get you a ticket under Ontario's
recent distracted driving law, a judge has ruled.
“To be ‘holding’ a hand-held wireless communication device
requires more than merely touching or a brief handling of such a device,” says
provincial court Justice Shaun Nakatsuru.
Nakatsuru overturned a ruling by Justice of the Peace Ruby
Wong, who had found a Toronto
woman guilty of “holding” her cellphone while stopped at a red light when she
retrieved it from her car floor, where it had dropped.
The ruling is binding on Ontario justices of the peace, who hear many
such Highway Traffic Act cases.
“It was the just thing to do,” the driver, Khojasteh Kazemi,
said in an interview. “I didn’t do anything. I just picked up the phone when I
was behind the red light.