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

Nanaimo RCMP seek witnesses after assault leaves man with broken facial bones

Incident occurred 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 10, near Superstore, say police

Scouting report promising for Nanaimo Clippers with training camp around the corner

BCHL scouts Island Division champs as league anticipates 2020-21 season

Two motorcycles crash on Nanaimo’s Terminal Avenue, one rider injured

Collision happened at 9 a.m. Thursday near Cypress Street intersection

Sport performance centre’s physically distanced fitness program fuels food bank

Prime Sport Performance and Therapy presents $3,000 to Loaves and Fishes

Regional District of Nanaimo exploring mountain biking as an economic driver

Nanaimo Hospitality Association executive says coordinated trail network could lead to job creation

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read