CASE LAW - R v Tang

BC Courts Coat of ArmsHao Bin Tang is a class 7 new driver and as such is prohibited from using an electronic device while driving. He was checked driving over the speed limit, flagged to the side of the road and approached by an officer who found Mr. Tang with both hands on a lit cell phone with his head down. In addition to the speeding ticket, the driver was also issued a ticket for using the electronic device which he disputed.

Mr. Tang's justification for his action was that his mother had called just as he was being flagged over. Once he had stopped as requested, he used his phone to turn off the call.

Judicial Justice Joseph-Tiwary summed up:

Mr Tang is a Class 7 driver. He is not authorised, even hands free use, of a phone when driving. The ability to receive or monitor calls while driving is an operation of a function of the phone within the vehicle. Any other interpretation of the prohibition, such that Class 7 drivers may have their phones turned on and operating within the car when driving on the highway, would frustrate the intent of the legislative scheme that has made a distinction in not allowing novice drivers even hands free use of electronic devices to avoid distraction. Incoming calls and information on the device operating within the vehicle poses a source of distraction.

He found Mr. Tang guilty.

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