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Video: Cellphone trouble in Ottawa

The streets can be dangerous. Here’s proof from Ottawa, thanks to rider Erik Hanna, who took this video of a woman who appears to be driving distractedly thanks to her cellphone.

The clip is pretty self-explanatory: The woman looks to be engrossed in her phone, and not paying much attention to the roadway. She comes to a halt well back of the stop line, and when Hanna tries to get her attention, simply locks her door and ignores him. Then, as they leave the light, her vehicle appears to cut him off.

Hanna says he’s given a copy of the video to police, along with her plate number, and from what we hear, they’re following up on the lead (and of course, warning anyone who will listen about what a bad idea it is to follow drivers who do this sort of thing).

23 thoughts on “Video: Cellphone trouble in Ottawa”

  1. Pretty much in Canada we enforce driving laws- DUI, speeding and seatbelts, that’s it. You can drive down the road with your hair on fire snorting cocaine blowing every stop sign and cops won’t give a dam…. as long as you’re sober not speeding and are belted.
    Then later they will wonder why our drivers are so bad, big mystery.

    1. Fucking cops are useless. My respect for them falls further every day (if that’s possible, as it was already pretty low).

      1. Ha! I have to eat my words, apparently they are going to charge her. Turns out she’s not an out of province driver, but one who hasn’t updated their registration and license.

  2. No one has the right to drive (or ride). We have the privilege. I want to make something really clear here too – it’s not just people in cars and trucks that are causing problems. Look at the ‘infotainment’ systems that are coming out on touring bikes, (which I’m pretty sure will make their way down to lesser models as the years go by). Anyone using one of those – in any way – is not fully engaged in riding the ride. Also how many people on bikes are creating VLOGs while they are riding? YouTube is filled with videos by people mindlessly blathering on about something or other while riding in traffic. Do you really think any one of them is truly engaged in the ride? How many of us are riding with excessive speed or in a lane position that is just begging for trouble? And how many of us have our cell phones hooked up via bluetooth so we can take calls while we are riding?
    I could probably post just as many videos about people on bikes doing really stupid stuff as we see about people in cars.


    Many years ago the distraction in cars came from rifling through the box of cassettes to find what you wanted to hear. Motorcyclists had no options for sound of any type. As time went on and the ‘walkman’ style music appliance and ear buds that could be used inside a helmet were invented the motorcyclists distraction was born. That was when we could rip down the highway with “Highway to the danger zone!” blasting our ear drums to pieces. Today we can go on-line and buy a handlebar mount and bluetooth set up for our phones and be just as distracted on two wheels as someone on four wheels is.
    The real difference as I see it, at least here in North America, is that very few people in cars post their dash cam videos, while it seems to be the flavour of the month to post videos taken on a bike…

    I’m not sympathetic to the person driving the vehicle in this video or any other, but I am getting fairly tired of motorcycle riders ‘Holier Than Thou’ attitude. We all have the capacity to ride fully engaged and safely, but most of us do not. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that every one of us has done something dangerous to ourselves or others while riding or driving, yet we’ll damn someone else at the first chance we get.

    I challenge everyone who reads this to take a course on both defensive riding and driving. If you haven’t done so in the last 5 years it’s probably time you did. Bad habits and complacency build over time.
    Don’t even try to tell me that because you’ve driven for 10, 15 or 20 years you know what your doing… the longer you’ve been in traffic without schooling the more you need to be reminded of what to do and what not to do.
    How many of us actually learned how to ride in traffic as opposed to learn how to pass the riders or drivers exam? How many of us know what proper lane position is and are willing to modulate our speed or to change lane position to keep ourselves in a ‘safe zone’? How many of us are really scanning the road as we ride, keeping the traffic behind us in mind as well as the traffic beside and in front of us?

    It’s time to quit pointing fingers all the time and look in the mirror once in a while.

  3. I don’t really care about her playing with her phone at the stop light. It’s annoying if they’re doing that and not paying attention, but not generally dangerous. Leave it to the police to take care of.

    Her left-lane pass and lane-change manoeuvre at about the 1:00 mark is clearly dangerous and illegal.

    I had a woman do something similar to me a while back while riding, well I forgot where exactly. What I do remember is that ther were two lanes, the left lane which I was in, and a right lane that was ending. A woman in a small car came up beside me on my right, and decided that she needed to be in the left lane now, despite the fact that I was already there. As I was ahead and had the right of way, I wasn’t inclined to let her ahead of me, but she pushed in anyway. No real danger to me, but very rude and aggressive driving behaviour, unnecessarily so. I hadn’t done anything to her. After I laid on my horn and made some internationally understood hand gestures, she looked like she wanted to get away from me, like she was afraid of me. Fortunately for her I’m not the vindictive type or she’d be missing a side mirror or something. I think she’d be better off not driving like that than worrying about who she’s pissed off afterwards.

  4. My bet if he takes this to the police. She will get a warning and he will have his video evidence used against him in a charge related to his lane splitting – in the beginning of the vid when he went beside her to talk to her, then rode ahead.

    From my experience, the cops are only interested in easy prosecutions (speeding tickets), and don’t really like it if the public try to do their job for them. No good deed goes unpunished. Remember that store owner in Toronto who caught the guy who robbed him earlier that day, then got charged with unlawful confinement!

  5. I wish I could say this behavior was surprising or unusual. It is not. I see it every day in traffic. A callous disregard for the well-being of others. Common sense doesn’t appear to factor in to the equation, so there needs to be a legal consequence for drivers who behave like this.

  6. If we are on bikes I don’t think we should be the police and pull people over with our video cam’s. This guy was lucky he didn’t get hurt. She just cut him off….the slightest touch of her vehicle and he’d have been down and hurt. In my experience you get into more trouble when bikes go up against cagers…even if it’s for a good reason. Keep a cool head….it’s traffic….people can be dumb behind the wheel, but we who ride have to be vigilant and let some situations go for our own safety. Don’t get me wrong….this woman got what’s coming to her…but this guy could’ve been really hurt if things went sideways IMHO.

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