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

Disaster Aid Canada Receives $60,000 in Donations for Australian Bushfire Relief

Rotary Clubs in the affected areas will be able to apply for rebuilding funds for local projects

Vehicles and welding machines recovered from theft at Geo-Tech Industries

Suspects still not identified from early Tuesday morning break-in at Crofton business

Ladysmith Maritime Society replacing 800-feet of dock at Ladysmith Community Marina

Work on the dock is ongoing, and expected to finish by April 2020

Wonderettes bring the fun while belting out the hits

Four-part harmonies in Chemainus Theatre production sure to be music to your ears

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read