Driver for Surrey daycare caught using cellphone at stop light
Published Thursday, September 28, 2017 6:24PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 28, 2017 8:05PM PDT
The driver of a daycare minibus has lost her job after police caught her using her cellphone behind the wheel in Surrey.
There was one child from Creative All Stars Childcare on board when the woman picked up her phone at a stop light Wednesday. Unfortunately for her, an RCMP officer was conducting a distracted driving ticketing blitz at the intersection at the time.
After being hit with a $368 fine, the woman also found herself fired.
Jug Bilg, the director of Creative All Stars Childcare, told CTV News the driver was a longtime employee who was calling a parent to let them know she was running late.
Letting her go was a very difficult decision, Bilg said, but he felt he had no choice.
The Surrey RCMP detachment said it has no problem with the outcome of the traffic stop.
"People have to be accountable for their actions," Cpl. Scotty Schumann said. "If that results in them losing their job because they decide to ignore the law, then so be it."
But not everyone agrees. Employment lawyer Sara Forte told CTV News she’s never heard of someone being sacked for a traffic ticket before.
Forte argued if the driver isn't being paid severance, the company needs to prove her firing was justified.
"Just cause is a very high standard. You have to show serious misconduct to be able to justify that," she said.
"This might be one of those unusual cases where this conduct could be incompatible with continued employment, and that's the test."
Police forces across the province are upping distracted driving enforcement all month long. Schumann warned motorists it doesn’t matter if their car is stopped at a red light, or if there’s no other traffic around – picking up your phone in the driver’s seat can still costs you hundreds of dollars.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Shannon Paterson