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

Ontario trio fits the bill for 2020 Chemainus Classical Concerts series opener

Sunday performance at St. Michael’s Church in Chemainus features classic pieces

Ucluelet earthquake shakes Duncan

Did you feel it? Earthquakes Canada is confirming an earthquake at 1:35… Continue reading

First Nations land-claim case moves to Duncan for two weeks

Cowichan Tribe elders to be interviewed

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Most Read