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The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, a Canadian auto insurer, released last week a list of top excuses from local motorists when they were caught using handheld cellphones while driving.

The insurer compiled the information with help from the local police department, which went on a month-long crackdown in September on distracted driving. Police estimate they issued more than 3,500 tickets.

Motorists getting distracted by holding a cellphone in one hand and making or receiving calls while driving is also a common problem in the United States.

Since the first law was passed in New York in 2001 banning handheld cellphone use while driving, there has been debate as to the degree of hazard, according to the New York-based Insurance Information Institute.

A survey conducted by State Farm in November 2010 found that 74 percent reported making or receiving calls at least once a week while driving.

Here are the top 10 excuses the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia compiled of local drivers who were caught using handheld phone devices while driving:

1. This is a bogus law.

2. It was my boss on the phone – I had to answer it.

3. I wasn’t using it – I just like to hold it.

4. Sorry officer, I didn’t see you trying to pull me over because I was on my phone.

5. But it was an emergency call to my wedding planner.

6. My Bluetooth died.

7. Driver: I’m using my speakerphone. Police officer: No, you’re holding your phone in one hand and steering with the other.

8. I’m not driving; I was stopped at a red light.

9. I wasn’t talking, I was checking my messages.

10. I was just checking the time.

Posted 1:51 PM

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