(File photo)

$275 ticket upheld for Kelowna visitor who held phone for what ‘might have been 10 seconds’

Brenton Klause was using the phone to navigate and moved the phone into its slot

Ten seconds was enough to uphold a $275 fine given to a Kelowna visitor last year.

In provincial court documents, Brenton Klause was travelling from Victoria to Saskatchewan when he found himself on Highway 97 near Richter Street and seemingly ‘lost’ on April 19, 2018.

According to Klause’s testimony, he was using the phone’s navigation system while it was in one of the car’s slots. A car in-front of Klause slammed on its breaks and when Klause braked, the phone slid from its slot. When Klause went to pick the phone up and put it back, it was then when the RCMP officer, who was on a motorcycle, saw him and stopped the car.

“(Klause) said he was not texting or communicating with the device,” reads the court documents.

“He said he touched the phone and put it back in its slot. It might have been 10 seconds.”

A $275 ticket was given to Klause for “use of an electronic device while driving.”

RCMP Const. Bevan noted in his testimony that he would agree that Klause was not using the phone to communicate, but testified that the phone was being held in hand above the car’s centre console.

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In the court documents from Sept. 18, Klause took the ticket to traffic court where he attempted to appeal the fine by referring to the Motor Vehicle Act’s definition of “use.”

Judicial Justice Brian Burgess upheld Klause’s guilt of the ticket, stating that a phone being used for navigation cannot be held in hand, even for the briefest of moments.

“Simply having it in hand even momentarily is holding it in a position which it may be used,” Burgess details in the online documents.

“Operating a device for navigational purposes, it must be securely fixed to the motor vehicle and (it) was not.”

Burgess concluded that the Crown proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt and Klause was stuck with the $275 fine.

More information on the court ruling can be found here.

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