CASE LAW - R v Hrynyk
Kimberly Hrynyk pulled into a Starbucks in Victoria. She used her cellphone to place an order only to discover that the business was closed for the day. Ms. Hrynyk left the parking lot via Tillicum Road.
Her next stop was in the left turn lane at the intersection with Burnside Road West for the red light. She noticed that she had failed to close the Starbucks app on her phone and did not want to waste data. She put her car in park and used both hands to manipulate her phone.
What she failed to notice was the police vehicle stopped at her right. The officer noticed what she was doing and exited his vehicle to knock on her window and direct her to park at the roadside. He issued a violation ticket for the use of an electronic device while driving.
Ms. Hrynyk disputed the ticket in traffic court and explained her actions. The judicial justice found her not guilty, accepting that her vehicle was in park and that she was not driving or operating it. He also agreed that since the cell phone was in a holder, she was not holding it herself.
Crown appealed the decision. Mr. Justice Baird found that the judicial justice had erred. The evidence taken at trial establishes that the respondent used an electronic device while operating a motor vehicle and thereby contravened s. 214.2 of the Motor Vehicle Act.
A new trial was ordered but Crown exercised discretion in the matter and entered a stay of proceedings.