Look mom, no hands: Kelowna woman ticketed for driving with bowl in one hand, chopsticks in the other | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Look mom, no hands: Kelowna woman ticketed for driving with bowl in one hand, chopsticks in the other

RCMP Traffic Services
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
September 12, 2019 - 9:59 AM

KELOWNA - With a bowl in her left hand, holding chopsticks in her right, Corinne Marla Jackson was caught speeding down Kelowna’s Highway 33 and despite her best efforts in court, she’s going to have to pay.

Jackson, born in 1967, was ticketed on Nov. 7, 2018, for Driving Without Due Care, contrary to section 144(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act and the issue went to court July 5. After hearing the evidence, Justice Brian Burgess sided with RCMP in the matter and Jackson was ordered to pay the full fine, typically $386, for the offence.

According to a court document released today, Sept. 12, Const. Neid saw Jackson driving down Highway 33 at 60 kilometres an hour in a 50 km/h zone.

He observed Jackson for five to six seconds, and that in that time she had a bowl in her left hand in a position 3/4 to the face from the steering wheel. In her right hand were chopsticks. Neither hand was on the steering wheel.

“On cross examination, Const. Neid described the action of the chopsticks as shovelling the food,” reads the court decision.

“Const. Neid candidly stated on cross examination that if he had seen a hand on the steering wheel, he would not have called the matter to the pick up crew.”

For her part, Jackson told the court that she wasn’t speeding, she was just going “perhaps no more than 10 km/h over” the posted speed limit.

That, Burgess pointed out, is still speeding.

Jackson also argued that her thumb and index finger of her left hand were holding the bowl. This argument also held no sway.

The question for the court to decide in this case was whether Jackson was driving without due care and attention when heading down the highway with her hands and mouth full.

Burgess said Jackson was betting with her own safety and life and the safety and lives of other users or potential users of the road by doing so.

“Implicit in this risk was the chance that  Jackson could not maintain control of her vehicle while holding a bowl and chopsticks and eating or that such an activity would make her inattentive to her driving,” Burgess wrote.

“Jackson assumed a risk by her actions, a risk that she did not need to assume while driving her vehicle.”

Driving, Burgess continued, is an activity that requires concentration, skill, attention, split-second decision making, deductive reasoning of the dynamic events unfolding around the driver, and anticipation of what other users of the road are doing or may be doing.

“A person should not be 'multitasking' while driving. A person should not be driving while having objects in both hands,” Burgess wrote.

Burgess said that the minimum standard of a reasonable and prudent person, as implied by the Crown, would be to have at least one full hand on the steering wheel while the vehicle being driven is in motion.

“The hand that is on the steering wheel should not also be holding some other object,” Burgess wrote.

With that in mind, Burgess found Jackson guilty of the offence and was not prepared to consider a reduction in the fine.

She has to Oct. 31, 2019, to make payment.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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