Ontario Court of Justice charged a woman driver with Ontario’s “distracted driving” charge after she was found checking the time on her Apple Watch at a red light. The judge in Canada pointed out that “an Apple Watch is no safer” when compared to a case where someone has “taped” a cellphone to their wrist as reported by National Post. The woman driver in question maintained that she was just checking the time on her Apple Watch. According to the case details, a police officer noticed “a glow of an electronic device” when she had stopped at a red light.
The police officer was in his cruiser and had stopped next to her car adding that the woman driver looked up and down about four times. He went on to add that two cars in front of the driver moved on as soon as the light turned green while she remained stationary. She started to move as the officer directed a flashlight on her and minutes later she was pulled over to be given a ticket.
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The reason for this was because of an amendment that was done in the Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act back in 2009. This amendment added that people charged with distracted driving if they are found “holding or using a handheld wireless communication device”. The driver argued that this did not apply in her case because the watch was not connected to any external device and she was only checking the time.
The judge refused to accept that testimony pointing out that even though the Apple Watch needs a touch input to activate the display to check the time and another touch input to deactivate the display, the mere act of checking time can be done in one single moment.
It was inconsistent with the looking up and down four times that the officer noticed. The judge went on to add that it was not about the technology in question and instead about the fact that the driver was distracted when the police officer noticed her leading to delay in action to the change of the traffic light.