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Student using Apple Watch at stoplight receives fine

An Apple Watch sits on display during an Apple event at their main store Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

In April, Victoria Ambrose received a ticket at a stoplight near the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. A police officer noticed that her car did not move when the light turned green and that she only moved forward once he had shown a light through her window from his cruiser. He stopped her and issued a citation under Ontario's distracted driving law.

Ambrose had not been paying attention to the light because she had been looking at her Apple smartwatch, according to the BBC. Later, in court, she was fined Canadian $400 because the judge said Ambrose was distracted by what was essentially "a cellphone taped to somebody's wrist."

Ambrose's defense was that she was simply consulting the watch to find out the time. She said the reason she was looking down at it for a long period was that the device must be tapped twice in order to view the time. She also argued that because the device was strapped to her wrist, she was exempt under the distracted driving law because the device she was consulting was "securely mounted."

"Checking one's timepiece is normally done in a moment, even if it had to be touched to be activated," said the presiding judge.

Ambrose is not the first Canadian to be fined for checking a smartwatch behind the wheel. In 2015, a man from Quebec was fined C$120 and received four points on his license for checking his smartwatch while driving.

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