Halton Police stop Burlington driver playing the flute with both hands while driving

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Published October 20, 2021 at 9:14 pm

HRPS Burlington photo.

A flautist who flouted the rules of the road will now pay the price for playing a piece of music.

Halton Regional Police Service say a male driver was charged after they were spotted playing a flute with both hands as an officer was conducting distracted driving enforcement Wednesday. A social media post from HRPS Burlington shared a photo of the flute, and said the multitasking motorist-musician was playing along to a song he was listening to on an iPod.

On Twitter, one witticist asked HRPS Burlington if the flute-playing driver “blew over.” A user who identifies as a police officer suggested the song on the iPod was “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” by The Police.

Ontario’s distracted driving laws apply to the use of hand-held communication devices and certain display screens. Drivers can only make a call if they are hands-free, and can only view GPS display screens that are built into the vehicle’s dashboard or securely mounted on the dashboard.

Playing a wind instrument whilst behind the wheel would likely fall into the same area of the distracted driving law as eating, drinking, grooming, smoking, reading and reaching for objects. Those actions do not trigger an automatic ticket, but can lead to a charge of careless or dangerous driving.

The fine for a first offence for distracted driving is $615 if the offender settles out of court. It is $1,000, and a loss of three demerit points, if they fight the ticket and lose.

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