Traffic report: Donuts, crosswords and a Yukon judge ends ‘hands-free’ loophole

Businessman eating and driving while talking on the phone. Stock photo by Getty Images

Distracted drivers dominate this week’s recap of traffic law, as well as one dumb driver apparently doing his best to get arrested.

‘Hands-free’ not just for hands anymore

A Yukon judge has closed a legal loophole for distracted drivers.

A driver caught yakking on his cellphone last summer lost his case on appeal after a judge ruled that driving “hands-free” really means using any body part to hold a phone.

Ian Pumphrey initially beat the charge by arguing that he had the phone wedged between his ear and shoulder, so therefore he was technically not using his hands. Yukon law insists drivers go “hands-free,” but, unlike some other jurisdictions, doesn’t provide a more detailed definition of what “hands-free” really means.

The government appealed that decision and the appeal judge agreed that the trial judge erred in his literal interpretation of the law.

Pumphrey got a suspended sentence and one day of probation.

Where’s there’s smoke, there’s donuts

Here’s another forehead-slappingly dumb case of a driver doing pretty much everything wrong.

Police in Barrie, Ont. charged a man who was driving drunk and doing stunts with two kids in his car. Not even his kids.

An officer noticed a “cloud of smoke” at an intersection and discovered a Camaro “doing donuts,” a stunt-driving offence.

Surprise, the driver was incredibly drunk — a whopping three times over the legal limit. He definitely shouldn’t have been driving, and not just because he was drunk; he’d been ordered to install an ignition interlock device after a previous drunk-driving conviction.

To top it all off, he didn’t have insurance or a permit for the car. And there were two young boys in the back seat, children of the driver’s friends.

He’s charged with five violations of the Highway Traffic Act.

What’s a nine-letter word for something you shouldn’t do while driving?

The thing about public transit is that it’s well … public. As in, you’re exposed to, and visible to crowds of people.

So if you’re a city bus driver, you can’t really expect to get away with doing a crossword puzzle behind the wheel. And yet, a Toronto bus driver was caught doing just that.

A transit rider tweeted a snapshot of a driver scratching his head while searching for just the right word as the puzzle rests on the steering wheel.

Should we give the driver credit for only working on the puzzle at a red light? After all, the Toronto Transit Commission has heard plenty of complaints about drivers doing crosswords, Sudoku puzzles, and other distracting activities behind the wheel.

The TTC says it’s investigating this latest incident.

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