Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Drivers complain of being fined for cell phone use when not using them

Two different drivers in Winnipeg Manitoba complain that they received tickets for driving while using their cell phones when they were not using them. It is illegal to drive while using your cell phone in Manitoba.

One driver Laszlo Piszker were pulled over by two police officers in Winnipeg. Piszker told the officers to search the car for a cell phone. He claims that he does not even have a cell phone.

The officers issued him a ticket for $199.80 anyway. He says that the officers were nasty both to him and his wife. The 74 year old claims to be so technically challenged he could not use a cell phone even if he had one.

The couple immediately went to a nearby police station to complain. He said the officer laughed. The officer suggested that the officers must have been trying to fill a quota. A two hundred dollar ticket is hardly a laughing matter.

The couple will fight the ticket in court. I would not be surprised if the officers fail to show and the ticket will be thrown out.

Another Winnipeg motorist Jody Nelson also reported receiving a ticket for using his cell phone while driving. He said that he was not using it at the time. The officer provided him with no explanation claims Nelson and would not give his badge number either.

Nelson said he would fight his 200 fine in court as well. He plans to get records from his cell phone provider that will show he was not using his cell phone at the time.

It sounds as if some tickets are being issued just to generate revenue and with the hope that most people will not bother to challenge the tickets. For more see this CBC article.

UPDATE: Winnipeg police have disputed Piszker and his wife's account of events. The police claim they followed the two for several blocks after seeing Piszker the driver hold a cell phone to his ear while driving.
 Piszker claims not to own a cell phone or use one. Meanwhile the police union said that the emphasis upon issuing tickets for cell phone violations was hurting relations between police and the public. See this article for more.

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