Time-conscious bus driver fined for using cell phone
Even checking the time on a phone is enough to get a driver convicted, a bus operator was told in Magistrates’ Court.
Jevon Thomas was fined $300 for the December 23 offence.
The 32-year-old said he had been driving buses for five years and had a clean record.
He told Crown counsel Karen King that on the date in question, his vehicle had no clock, and he was wearing no watch.
He said the bus was barely moving in Christmas traffic on Church Street when he took the phone from his pocket to check the time.
Thomas said he was obliged to inform the dispatcher if he knew he was running late.
Police Sergeant Colin Paynter told the court he spotted the driver leaning on the wheel with his elbows, holding a phone, and operating it with his fingers.
The bus driver was ticketed after arriving at the Hamilton terminal.
Thomas admitted pressing a button on the phone to activate the screen, but insisted he could get records to prove he had not been calling or texting.
However, Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner said: “It is widely believed that the law applies to talking on the phone and texting. There is nothing in the Motor Car Act that says that.”
Mr Warner fined Thomas $300 and gave him seven demerit points.
He advised him to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court if he did not agree with the decision.