During a dispute hearing on July 5, 2019, Corinne Jackson argued that she was able to eat while driving safely, according to court documents. (Pixabay photo)

Kelowna woman argues she can safely drive while using chopsticks, judge disagrees

Corinne Jackson was pulled over and ticketed for driving without due care along Highway 33

A Kelowna woman driving down Highway 33 with chopsticks in one hand and a bowl of spinach in the other was recently fined for reckless driving – despite her best efforts to defend her multitasking skills.

Corinne Jackson was pulled over and ticketed for driving without due care in November 2018, a ticket which typically carries a $386 fine and six demerit points.

But during a dispute hearing on July 5 of this year, Jackson argued that she was able to eat while driving safely, according to court documents made public this week.

Jackson claimed she did give due care and attention to her driving, and had three fingers on the steering wheel as she juggled her utensils and food. She also claimed she wasn’t speeding, despite admitting she was driving roughly 10 kilometres over the listed 50-kilometre-per-hour speed limit.

Justice Brian Burgess, however, disagreed with Jackson’s argument.

A “reasonable and prudent person” should have at least one full hand on the steering wheel while a car is in motion, he said in his written decision, adding that hand “should not also be holding some other object.”

ALSO READ: Eating cereal, trimming nose hairs – it’s all illegal while driving

He also noted that even one kilometre over the listed speed limit is speeding.

RCMP Const. Chris Neid, one of the officers who was involved in pulling Jackson over in 2018, told the court that he was in an elevated location adjacent to the two westbound lanes of Highway 33 when he spotted the woman driving.

During cross examination, the court documents say, Neid described the action of the chop sticks as “shovelling” the food, and said if he had seen a hand on the steer wheel, he would not have called the matter in to his fellow officer who then directed Jackson to the side of the highway.

Burgess said that while he’s “not finding that a person who is eating while driving is driving without due care and attention,” Jackson did not meet the minimum requirement for safe driving.

He added that neither he nor RCMP could find any prior court cases of distracted driving involving food in B.C. provincial court history.

“The question for the court to decide in this case is whether the driving of Ms. Jackson, that is, holding a bowl in her left hand, holding chopsticks in the right hand and actively eating while speeding on a four lane road in a city, constitutes driving without due care and attention,” Burgess wrote.

He went on to say that: “A person should not be ‘multi-tasking’ while driving. A person should not be driving while having objects in both hands.”

Jackson will have until the end of October to pay her fine.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CGL completes first in-field pipeline welds for Kitimat section of project

‘I never thought I’d live to see this day:’ Skeena MLA praises start of pipeline welding in Kitimat

Housing committee recommends District deny strata application for 1425 Nalabila Boulevard

Council is set to consider the matter at their June 1 meeting

BC Hydro studying new power connection in northwest B.C.

Would supply hydro-electric power to planned LNG plant at Kitimat

Illicit overdose deaths on the rise during COVID-19: Northern Health

March 2020 saw a 61 per cent increase in illicit overdose deaths province-wide compared to February

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read