Is it illegal to keep my phone in the cup holder while I’m driving?

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Is it illegal to drive with a phone in the cup holder or center console in the eyes of the driver? My boyfriend always insists that it can’t be seen when we’re driving – even if he’s sitting on a wireless charging pad. he showed me A video from ICCC – At home, not when we’re driving – it says put it in the glove compartment. It seems a bit extreme.

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Andy, Victoria, BC


There is no law that says cup holders are only for double-doubles.

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Your phone is not legally required to be kept out of sight unless you are using it, the police said.

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“Just having a cellphone in a car isn’t enough,” said RCMP Corporal Mike Halskov, a spokesman for the BC Highway Patrol. “But it’s used if you’re watching the screen – it means the screen is lit up and you’re looking at incoming text messages, watching a video, or trying to read an article.”

within the scope of the law In BC, you are using a phone if you are holding it, touching it, using any of its actions, or watching it. This is a $368 fine and four demerits.

“If your phone is in the mounting bracket, you can use [hands-free]Hulkov said. “But it’s supposed to be only a touch, it can’t be scrolled.”

those rules have led Ticket To simply hold a phone in the cup holder while connected to the charging cord.

Looking or watching?

but the judge Many BC case Ruled that you can’t get a ticket to keep the phone on the cup holder, console or passenger seat unless the phone screen is lit.

So, can you get a ticket if your phone is sitting in the cup holder but showing GPS directions?

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Yes, but it’s not clear whether it will play out in a B.C. court, said Kayla Lee, a criminal attorney in Vancouver.

“The definition of seeing has not been challenged in court,” Lee said. “Law refers to” Watching Screen – Don’t just look at the screen to see at which intersection you’re about to turn left. I think the choice of that word has been very deliberate.”

So what about the rest of Canada? Rule varies by province. But generally, just keeping the phone in the cup holder isn’t enough – you have to use it.

in OntarioIf it’s in your lap, you could be proven guilty, but not if it’s in a cup holder—provided the police can’t prove you touched the device, said Ian Collins, a criminal attorney in Toronto. “The main point is this: don’t touch the device.”

in Quebec, a court ruled that A driver broke the law when he saw a phone sitting in his cup holder to check GPS directions while he was stopped at a red light.

No phone, no ticket?

RCMP’s Halskov said, although you don’t legally have to hide your phone from view, it’s a good way to make sure you won’t get a ticket.

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“If they see your phone in the cup holder, they may conclude that you were using it,” Halskov said. “If they can’t see your phone, you won’t get a ticket.”

The province’s state-owned insurance company, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), said keeping your phone away can help you avoid being tempted to pick it up and check it.

“You are five times more likely to have an accident if you are using a hand-held phone while driving,” ICBC spokeswoman Lindsey Wilkins said in an e-mail. “If you have difficulty braking with your phone while driving, turn it to silent mode and keep it out of reach and out of sight.”

Have a Driving Question? send it to [email protected] And put ‘Driving Concern’ in your subject line. Emails cannot be answered without a correct subject line. Canada is a big place, so tell us where you are so we can find answers for your city and province.

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