Police launch month-long distracted driver campaign

RCMP across British Columbia will be conducting a month-long awareness and targeted enforcement campaign

Distracted Driving is one of the major driving behaviours that contribute to fatal and serious injury motor vehicle collisions.  The RCMP across British Columbia will be conducting a month-long awareness and targeted enforcement campaign against distracted drivers in February.

“Last year, 27 per cent of collision fatalities in B.C. were caused by distracted or inattentive drivers, despite over 40,000 violation tickets being issued for use of electronic device or driving without due care and attention.

“The public needs to be part of the solution by separating the activities of driving and electronic device use” says Cpl. Robert McDonald of “E” Division Traffic Services.

Each year, on average, 91 people die due to distracted driving-related crashes, 31 in the Lower Mainland, 12 in the North, 34 in the Southeast and 14 on Vancouver Island.  All of these deaths were needless, preventable deaths that could have been prevented by drivers paying their attention solely to the driving task.

Driving is probably the most dangerous activity you do in a day.  Undivided attention is needed whenever you drive, regardless of road and weather conditions.

Are you dying to check your cell phone?

“If you need to make a phone call on a cellular phone, use a hands-free device that can be operated with one touch.  If you need to send or check a text or email, you must pull over, off of the traveled portion of the roadway, and bring your vehicle to a complete stop,” says Cpl McDonald,  “There are no messages that are more important than your life.”

The fine for using an electronic device without hands-free device while driving is $167.  Moreover, drivers who text or email while driving are subject to three Driver Penalty Points in addition to the fine.

Drivers in the Graduated Licence Program (GLP) are not permitted to use any electronic device, even hands-free devices.  GLP drivers receive the $167 fine and three Driver Penalty Points.

Drivers who are observed using an electronic device while committing other moving violations that put themselves and others at risk will face a charge of Driving Without Due Care and Attention, with a fine of $368.

“Don’t text your loved ones to death!”

The RCMP will be targeting Distracted Drivers across B.C. for the entire month of February.  On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, the police will be ensuring your loved ones get home safely through increased enforcement.

Article by“E” Division Traffic Services.