Are you allowed to plug in your phone while driving in Quebec? & More Latest News

A latest courtroom ruling provides to the rising checklist of selections that interpret the regulation on using transportable units while behind the wheel.

Article content

Does simply plugging in a cellphone while driving amount to using it, the same way texting, calling or browsing the web does under Quebec’s distracted driving laws?

Advertisement 2

Article content

A recent Quebec court ruling has concluded it should not, adding to the growing list of decisions that interpret the province’s law on the use of portable devices while driving.

For lawyer Éric Lamontagne, who specializes in contesting driving infractions, the decision addresses a question many people still struggle with: Exactly what can you do with a cellphone while behind the wheel?

“It’s certainly one of the (laws) that people have the hardest time understanding how it applies,” Lamontagne said in an interview. “And that’s why decisions like these are important — because they provide a framework for what we can and cannot do” while driving.

In the case in question, police officers in the municipality of La Sarre, in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region, pulled over a driver while he was waiting at a red light.

Advertisement 3

Article content

Police argued they witnessed the man manipulating his phone while the screen was off. But in a decision rendered in late June, justice of the peace Claude Boulianne retained the driver’s explanation that he was plugging his phone into his car’s USB port, without ever looking at it.

The man was ticketed under a provision of Quebec’s Highway Safety Code that stipulates drivers are prohibited from “using” a cellphone while driving. The infraction carries a penalty of five demerit points and a fine between $300 and $600.

It’s the interpretation of what constitutes “using” a cellphone under the law that Boulianne wrestled with in his 31-page ruling — a question, he noted, that has been explored in several decisions since Quebec amended the law in 2018.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Boulianne’s decision cites previous rulings as examples, noting how the interpretation of what counts as using a cellphone has kept expanding in the years since.

In 2019, for instance, a judge ruled that a Rimouski woman checking if her phone was charging did count as using it. The next year, on the other hand, a judge in St-Jérôme found a person picking their phone up from the floor and putting it away did not count.

Last year, a judge ruled a Quebec City man who was holding his phone while it was off was not breaking the law. Then, a week later, a Montreal municipal court judge acquitted a man caught in the act of unplugging his phone and placing it in his pocket.

“The jurisprudence has generally established very well that for a driver to consult the screen of their phone or a portable device constitutes (using it),” Boulianne wrote. “Thus, looking at the time, the weather, a message, the battery level or any other information is unanimously prohibited.”

Advertisement 5

Article content

However, Boulianne added, there remains a “difference of opinion” when interpreting connecting or disconnecting a phone.

Boulianne referenced a recent decision from St-Jérôme in which a judge ruled plugging one’s phone in to charge it does constitute using it. In that case, the judge equated it to plugging in an electric clothes iron: once it’s plugged in, it’s in use.

But Boulianne ultimately ruled differently, deciding to acquit the driver in La Sarre.

Though he agreed connecting a phone could cause someone to be momentarily distracted, he noted the law aims to restrict the typical way people use cellphones, not all forms of distracted driving.

“With respect,” Boulianne added, “the job of the courts is to interpret the legislation, not to seek to distort the legislative intent to make it more coercive.”

Advertisement 6

Article content

For Lamontagne, who wasn’t involved in the case, the decision was the right call and shows the need for the courts to keep clarifying the parameters around cellphone use while driving.

Lamontagne pointed to a recent case in which a woman used her phone to pay at a Tim Hortons drive-thru. A police officer happened to pull into the drive-thru simultaneously, Lamontagne said, and ticketed the woman for using her phone afterward.

If that’s not confusing, he added, then he doesn’t know what is.

“So I do believe that through judgments like (Boulianne’s),” Lamontagne said, “we need to specify where the ‘using’ infraction begins, and where it ends.”

jfeith@postmedia.com

  1. Can a passenger show you a smartphone GPS while you’re driving?

  2. Is a cellphone held by a vehicle’s passenger considered hands-free?

  3. Driving while chatting on hands-free cell might outcome in a $300 nice

    Advertisement 1

    Comments

    Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a vigorous however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments might take up to an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the location. We ask you to preserve your feedback related and respectful. We have enabled e-mail notifications—you will now obtain an e-mail if you obtain a reply to your remark, there may be an replace to a remark thread you comply with or if a person you comply with feedback. Visit our Community Guidelines for extra data and particulars on how to alter your e-mail settings.

    Read More,

     

    I’ve tried to give every kind of stories to all of you newest information at the moment 2022 by way of this web site and you are going to like all this information very a lot as a result of all of the information we at all times give in this information is at all times there. It is on trending matter and regardless of the newest information was

    it was at all times our effort to attain you that you preserve getting the Electricity News, Degree News, Donate News, Bitcoin News, Trading News, Transfer News, Gaming News, Trending News, Digital Marketing, Telecom News, Beauty News, Banking News, Travel News, Health News, Claim News newest information and you at all times preserve getting the knowledge of stories by way of us totally free and likewise inform you folks. Give that no matter data associated to different forms of information will probably be

    made obtainable to all of you in order that you are at all times linked with the information, keep forward in the matter and preserve getting at the moment information all forms of information totally free until at the moment in order that you can get the information by getting it. Always take two steps ahead

    All this information that I’ve made and shared for you folks, you will prefer it very a lot and in it we preserve bringing matters for you folks like each time in order that you preserve getting information data like trending matters and you It is our objective to give you the chance to get

    every kind of stories with out going by way of us in order that we are able to attain you the newest and greatest information totally free in order that you can transfer forward additional by getting the knowledge of that information along with you. Later on, we’ll proceed

    to give details about extra at the moment world information replace forms of newest information by way of posts on our web site in order that you at all times preserve shifting ahead in that information and no matter type of data will probably be there, it’s going to positively be conveyed to you folks.

    All this information that I’ve introduced up to you or would be the most totally different and greatest information that you persons are not going to get wherever, together with the knowledge Trending News, Breaking News, Health News, Science News, Sports News, Entertainment News, Technology News, Business News, World News of this information, you can get different forms of information together with your nation and metropolis. You will probably be in a position to get data associated to, in addition to you will probably be in a position to get details about what’s going on round you by way of us totally free

    in order that you could make your self a educated by getting full details about your nation and state and details about information. Whatever is being given by way of us, I’ve tried to carry it to you by way of different web sites, which you might like

    very a lot and if you like all this information, then positively round you. Along with the folks of India, preserve sharing such information essential to your family members, let all of the information affect them they usually can transfer ahead two steps additional.

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Scroll to Top