Canada is cracking down on its distracted driving problem with the rollout of stricter laws that impose harsher penalties and heftier fines on guilty offenders.
Such measures are more than necessary now, as distracted driving has claimed more lives than impaired driving in provinces like Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, New Brunswick ,British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.
But distracted driving is more than just using your cell phonewhile behind the wheel — according to the official RCMP website, distracted driving is anything that can lead to a driver’s impaired judgement while on the road, including:
- Talking on a cellphone
- Reading (books, maps, newspapers)
- Personal grooming
- Adjusting the radio/CD or playing extremely loud music
- Talking to passengers while fatigued
- Eating and driving
Fast-food’ and ‘food on the go’ was taken to a whole new level in Canada recently when a ramen eating Kelowna woman was busted by police for speeding along a highway while eating ramen noodles with chopsticks! From now on it is explicitly against the law to eat while driving, the choice of food and the utensils used were determined to be potentially distracting and dangerous, and the woman was issued with a pretty big fine!
To most of us, attempting to drive along a four-lane highway at high speeds, while eating ramen with chopsticks, sounds like pretty hard work. However, the defendant Corrine Jackson claimed that she was more-than handling the situation.
According to reports from CBC News,Jackson claimed to have one hand positioned on the steering wheel at all times while holding the bowl, and said the other hand was used to maneuver her eating utensils.
However, judicial justice Brian Burgess was not satisfied with this defense, explaining that any “reasonable and prudent person” should have at least one hand on the wheel of a moving vehicle at all times.
Burgess noted that the ‘three fingers’ that Jackson claimed to be driving the car with was not acceptable, and accused her of taking a risk with her own life, as well as the lives of others.
In their Twitter post, the RCMP wrote, “(Do you know) you can’t eat a bowl of soup while driving?
Drive without due care=$2000 Fine + 6 points.”
At the time of the post, a number of Canadians responded to double-check what the actual rules of the road are, with many users unsure as to what kind of food is allowed to be eaten while driving.
The tweet ended up causing so much confusion, that the RCMP were forced to clarify the issue in the KelownaNow newspaper. An officer explained, “Obviously the tweet depicted a very exaggerated situation.”
She added, “There is no blanket statement such as if you eat noodles and drive it will equal this. It’s all very dependent on the situation the officer sees.”
Next time you’re thinking of digging into your dinner on the drive home, it may be worth waiting! It could end up being a pretty expensive take-out!