If you find yourself stuck with a $164 ticket for talking on a cell phone while driving, don’t bother with the itchy ear defence.
One man tried to get out of his ticket by telling a judge that he wasn’t actually talking on his cell phone, he was just scratching his ear. With his phone.
Shockingly, the judge didn’t buy it.
That’s one of the most memorable stories Halifax Regional Police Const. Jeff Carr has heard, but that guy is far from alone. About a year after the cell phone ban came into place police are giving out twice as many tickets as they were last year.
“Personally I’ve noticed I never see people talking on their phone when I’m driving anymore,” said Carr.
“But clearly there are some people out there who still do talk on them because we’ve written close to 1,500 tickets in 11 months.”
The ban came into effect last April 1. At first officers were more likely to give out warnings if drivers didn’t know the law. Still, they were giving out an average of two and a half tickets per day.
That number has been rising ever since. Last month police were catching about five cell phone-uing drivers each day, double what it was just a few months ago. As of this week the total number of tickets given out is 1,465.
Carr said the law has been well publicized and everyone should know about it.
Police no longer expect excuses when they catch someone.
Still, he was a bit surprised to see such a high number of tickets considering measures like checkpoints don’t work for catching cell phone drivers.
“There’s nothing overly scientific about it,” he said. “If we pass someone on the highway or see someone who’s clearly yakking away on a cell phone they’re going to get a ticket.”