B.C. woman caught eating with chopsticks while driving fined

Kevin Rothwell

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A Kelowna woman has been convicted of driving without due care and attention, after being observed eating with chopsticks while driving.

On Nov. 7, 2018, the woman was driving westbound on Highway 33.

Back in 2017 Kelowna RCMP tweeted this picture of a woman eating noodles with chopsticks during Distracted Driving Awareness Month, warning that driving without due care could leave you more than $300 out of pocket. (This is not the woman who was fined.) Photo: RCMP

RCMP were conducting a distracted driving check for cellphone use when Corinne Jackson was spotted.

Police say she had a bowl of spinach in her left hand, chopsticks in her right hand, and was actively eating.

The woman testified she still had control of the vehicle with three fingers of her left hand on the wheel. Justice Brian Burgess rejected her claim that she had full control of the vehicle.

However, he didn’t set a precedent that eating equals distracted driving.

“By coming to the conclusion that (she) was driving without due care and attention as she was driving with a bowl in her left hand and chopsticks in her right hand and actively eating, I am not finding that a person who is eating while driving is driving without due care and attention. The minimum standard of a reasonable and prudent person, as implied by the Crown, would be to have at least one full hand on the steering wheel while the vehicle being driven is in motion. The hand that is on the steering wheel should not also be holding some other object,” stated Burgess.

Back in 2017, Kelowna RCMP tweeted a picture of a woman eating noodles with chopsticks during Distracted Driving Awareness Month, warning that driving without due care could leave you more than $300 out of pocket.

Driving without due care and attention carries a maximum fine of $2,000 but most are for $368 and six demerit points.

Burgess gave her until the end of October to pay the fine.

— With files from Canadian Press