Driver fined for using chopsticks while speeding in Kelowna
A judge in Kelowna has ruled against a woman who tried to fight a ticket that she received for eating with chopsticks while speeding on Highway 33.
RCMP cited Corinne Jackson in November of last year after a constable saw her with a bowl in her left hand and a pair of chopsticks in her right hand.
According to court documents, Const. Chris Neid "described the action of the chop sticks as 'shovelling' the food."
He estimated Jackson's speed as about 60 km/h on a stretch of road with a 50 km/h limit and he radioed his partner who pulled her over.
In trying to fight the ticket – which was for driving without due care and attention – Jackson told the court that she held the bowl with the thumb and forefinger of her left hand, with the remaining three fingers on the wheel, while using her right hand to eat with the chopsticks.
Neid testified that when Jackson drove past him, he had a clear view of her for five to six seconds and did not see either hand on the steering wheel.
"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," the judge wrote in the reasons for judgement handed down Aug. 26.
The judge decided that in this case it did, but took care to stipulate that they were "not finding that a person who is eating while driving is driving without due care and attention."
The judge went on to say the minimum standard would be to have at least one hand on the steering wheel while the vehicle is in motion and also said that hand should not also be holding another object.
Jackson’s full fine of $368 for driving without due care and attention was upheld.