He was fined, but not for distracted driving.
You could say the police authorities in Vancouver had an interesting workday earlier this week when they pulled over a driver for wearing headphones, only to find out those were actually hooked up to a smartphone affixed to the steering wheel. Not only that, but there was also a tablet strapped onto the wheel to take distractions to a whole new level. Also, never mind the Lexus logo on the glove compartment, it's a previous-generation Mazda3.
This is where the story really gets interesting as although the driver was indeed fined, it had nothing to do with the improvised “entertainment system” mounted on the steering wheel. The police gave him an $81 (CAD) ticket for not being able to show a driver’s license. A fine for distracted driving would have cost him $368 as well as four driving penalty points, but in the end he managed to get away only with a warning:
“We are reminding drivers to leave their devices alone while behind the wheel. And although our officer felt education was appropriate in this incident,” said VPD spokesman Const. Jason Doucette.
One would argue that since both of his hands were free, he technically didn’t do anything wrong. Looking at the bigger picture, why were the two devices on the steering wheel in the first place? With the displays on, both the smartphone and the tablet would create a lot of distractions. There’s also the matter of the airbag, which upon deployment would catapult the devices quite possibly straight on the driver’s face and cause some major injuries. We're not legal experts, but there should be a law against blocking airbags.
While the "Lexus" driver behind that cluttered steering wheel drove off without getting a penalty for distracted driving, it was an entirely different story with another driver caught earlier this week by the same Vancouver Police playing Pokemon Go while in traffic. He received a $368 fine for distracted driving. How distracted you ask? He was playing and driving at the same time, thus failing to notice the two police officers that were right next to him…
Source: Vancouver Police / Twitter, VPD Traffic / Twitter via Vancouver Sun