Man fined for drive-thru texting

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Police say it’s always an offence to use a handheld phone when operating a motor vehicle – even in a drive-thru.

An Alberta man has been hit with a ticket for almost $300 after police spotted him texting in a Tim Hortons drive-thru. “It’s the first time I’ve ever heard of that in a drive-thru lineup,” Chris Rechner of the Alberta Motor Association told The Star.

His comments came after A.J. Daoust was ticketed for $287 for distracted driving while waiting for his coffee in at Beaumont, Alta., Tim Hortons last week.

Rechner noted that the Alberta Highway Traffic Act makes it an infraction for drivers to use a hand-held cell phone or to text or emailing while in control of a vehicle.

That’s a problem when drivers take out their phones at red lights or rail crossings when they should remain alert to potential dangers, Rechner said. Rechner said officers have discretion in handing out tickets.

“His vehicle was in motion while he was in the drive-thru,” Acting Corp. Kelvin Koch of the Beaumont RCMP said in an interview. “It was moving.” Koch said the driver was also rude when approached by the officer.

“He was extremely disrespectful and showed a poor attitude towards the officer,” Koch said.

Koch said there is no particular policy to target drive-thru customers, but added it is an offense to use a handheld phone when operating a motor vehicle, including in a drive-thru.

If you’ve been the victim due to negligent or distracted driving, our experienced lawyers at Lancaster Chown & Welch LLP can be your advocate in seeking appropriate compensation and benefits for your injuries.