Cell phone use while driving: the speakerphone feature is permitted if it does not the device
The Canadian Press
MONTRÉAL – Cell phone use while driving: a driver who uses the function “speaker” to talk on the phone, without holding it in your hand or the handle, does not violate the law, comes to settle the superior Court of Quebec.
In this case, a man was convicted by the municipal Court of Rosemère for the use of a cellular phone while driving, in contravention of the highway safety Code.
He went on to appeal the decision.
In the municipal Court, a police officer had testified that he had observed appellant for fifteen minutes, while the latter was holding a cell phone to his left ear, entering into a service station, and making it in an automated car wash.
The driver has a different version of the facts: he said that when the cell phone rang, it was his wife, who is fleeting, who answered. She placed the device in his hand with the speakerphone feature so that the caller can hold a conversation. Inside the car wash, given the ambient noise, the appellant has handed over the cell phone to better hear his interlocutor.
The cell phone use while driving is prohibited, but an exception is allowed when a driver uses a device “hands-free”.
Here, the judge had decided that the speakerphone feature of the phone, so that it is held by the passenger, was not a device type hands-free, because it is not “external” to the device.
It is an error, ruled the judge Mario Longpré of the superior Court, who heard the appeal.
According to him, a driver may use a hands-free device “internal” to a device, such as the speakerphone feature. But it should not hold or manipulate the device, or make use of its screen.
This decision means that a driver can touch her cell phone to accept a call and activate itself the speaker, if he has no passenger to do?
According to this judgement, yes, answered Me Thierry Rassam, when asked about it. He is the president of SOS Ticket. But the driver can not hold his cell phone in any way: the device must be on a support. It can then be used to talk on the phone, it is activated by a voice command or a manual control simple”, that the driver can operate them without being distracted from driving the vehicle.
“It needs to be fixed in the car on a stand or someone to take you, he explained in an interview. But if you manipules the phone, then it becomes illegal.”
The judgment lacks a bit of clarity, he says.
The highway safety Code has recently been modified, and judgments begin to interpret this new version. “It is normal, it is new, it begins to clarify a little bit,” judge Me Rassam.
The lawyer, who has a specialty in this area, found that Quebec’s lack of information on what is allowed or not when it comes to cellular in the car.
Ideally, he would like the law itself needs to be more clear.
“It is very common the use of cell phones in the car and people must know what they can do.”
And in the car wash?
In regards to washing the car, the judge had to determine if the driver was parked, which would have exempt.
In the case of this matter, the judge in appeal found that the driver has just locked his vehicle in the car wash, and not parked. Thus, it confirms the offence taken by the judge of the municipal Court.
It specifies that this determination does not mean that a car can never be parked in a car wash.
In short, the driver was not fired because he was found guilty of having used a cell phone to the steering wheel to the portion car wash.