Ontario’s Top Court Rules Holding Mobile While Driving Illegal

In an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling, it was concluded that the prosecution does not needs to provide proof that a cell phone was actually being used by a driver before a conviction can be entered for distracted driving. It was implied that the proof that the suspect was holding a cell phone shall suffice the conviction for distracted driving. Judgment in the case of R. v. Kazemi was handed down yesterday, which was argued on May 23, 2013.

The defendant was convicted of distracted driving before a Justice of the Peace, as their appeal convictions were overturned by the judge of the Ontario Court of Justice. The Crown appealed the setting aside of the convictions to the Court of Appeal. The court was informed that Kazemi was driving home from work on April 26, 2010, when while she stopped at a red light, where a police officer observed her holding a cell phone in her hand while driving.

On the other hand, the woman does not deny holding the phone; however, she claims that she was only holding the device because it fell from the seat and on the floor when she braked. Hence, she claims to have only held the device while she reached down to pick it up. The Ontario Court of Justice judge set aside the conviction, finding that there must be more than a temporary holding of a prohibited device to constitute an offence.

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