‘Distracted’ driver tests hash brown defense

Jason Stiber could probably just pay his $1,000 fine for distracted driving and get on with his life, but the Westport, Conn., man goes to court soon in search of justice, he says.

Stiber was pulled over for talking on his hash brown. That’s his story, anyway. The cops tell a different one. It was a cellphone.

“I was eating a hash brown and he thought he saw a cellphone near my mouth,” Stiber tells Hearst Media.

Stiber says he’d have no reason to put a cellphone up to his ear; he’s got Bluetooth. And he says phone records show he didn’t make or receive any calls in the hour before he was stopped.

Nevertheless, the police persisted. And they won.

In an August trial, Stiber provided the proof but a judge found him guilty anyway. He’s asked for another trial.

His $1,000 attorney fee is about the same amount his insurance went up because of the ticket in April.

  • jon

    Had to google the laws in connecticut, it sounds like eating while driving isn’t explicitly considered distracted driving there…
    I’m not yet clear if it CAN be distracted driving or not… or if there is a different charge that would be leveled vs talking on a cell phone…

    • Barton

      I wondered about this – thanks for looking it up. I hope WHEN Minnesota finally gets a distracted driving law it considers more than items with a screen. I watched someone driving this weekend while playing cards with the passenger. In his left hand (while driving) he was holding a hand of cards and the wheel while with the right he appeared to be dealing. The car was all over the place (I couldn’t get past him quick enough for my liking).

      I’ve seen near accidents where people are attempting to grab a french fry out of a bag, or reach down for that chip they dropped. It isn’t just items with screens.

      • 212944

        I have seen people applying make-up in the rearview mirror, eating food out of a bowl with a spoon (takes both hands), shaving (thankfully, electric), sharing pizza (laid out on the dash) with the passengers in front and back and more … all on 94 during work commute.

        What is needed is more cops on traffic duty.

        • jon

          self driving cars… it’s the only solution I see that will be accepted by both people (eventually) and not require a police officer sitting in every passenger seat of every car on the road.

  • Jeff

    I like to keep my tator tot ear buds handy instead.