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The Latest on Driving with a Cell Phone

Ontario is one jurisdiction with legislation prohibiting people from driving while using a cell phone.  While the legislation appears clear, some ambiguity may have developed concerning the precise limits of the prohibition.  That ambiguity has now been resolved by the recent Ontario Court of Appeal case of Her Majesty the Queen v. Kazemi.

In that case, the accused was driving home from work alone.  While stopped at a stop light, a policeman saw her with her cell phone in her hand.  The evidence before the Court was that the cell phone had been on the seat but that it had dropped to the floor of the car while she was driving.  When she got to the red light, she picked it up and that is when the policeman saw her.

The legislation prohibits people from driving “while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device…”.  The issue was whether or not the accused was “holding” the cell phone for the purposes of this section.

At trial, the judge determined that her admission that...

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