Skip to content

Tesla driver on cellphone in North Van fails to notice cop right beside her

North Vancouver RCMP handed out 141 tickets for drivers using cellphones while behind the wheel last month
A Tesla driver in North Vancouver was handed a $368 ticket for distracted driving after being so absorbed by her cellphone she failed to notice the police officer right beside her vehicle. | NV RCMP

A Tesla driver caught in North Vancouver traffic was so distracted by her cellphone she didn’t notice when a police officer pulled up beside her and repeatedly tried to get her attention.

The clued-out driver was captured on video on Main Street near Mountain Highway April 3 as police officers conducted distracted driving enforcement during stop-and-go rush hour traffic.

Const. Mansoor Sahak said an officer driving a motorcycle on the shoulder spotted the driver “clearly very distracted on their phone” and pulled up beside the Tesla.

“The officer honked his horn a couple of times,” said Sahak. But that still failed to grab the attention of the overly absorbed person behind the wheel. Finally, after about 15 seconds, the police officer turned on his siren and knocked loudly on the Tesla window.

Further attention-getting devices included a $368 ticket for distracted driving.

Sahak said the incident ably demonstrates how using cellphones when behind the wheel leads to a driver’s inability to pay attention to surroundings, including pedestrians, traffic lights and other vehicles.

In March, North Vancouver RCMP handed out 141 tickets for distracted driving.

All of those were for using cellphones while driving – often in high-crash locations during rush hour, which have been targeted for enforcement.

Often drivers tell police they were just making a quick call, were stopped at a red light or were plugging their phone in to charge it.

But “the law is very clear, you cannot be using a cellphone while in the care and control of a motor vehicle,” said Sahak.

The only exceptions are phones that are mounted in the car and take only one brief touch to answer. Phones that are on your lap, between your legs or in a cup holder count as “using” your phone while driving, even if you have the phone on speaker, said Sahak, adding, “It doesn’t matter that you’re stuck in traffic.”

According to ICBC statistics, the area near Main Street and Mountain Highway is one of the top 10 crash locations in North Vancouver, with 231 collisions recorded there between 2018 and 2022.