Left to right: Crime Prevention Office volunteers Dwight Elliott and Karan Rattan

Police continue to look for distracted drivers

Last month police and volunteers teamed up with ICBC to enforce and educate distracted drivers on the Cedar Valley Connector.

ICBC has wrapped up its distracted driving campaign for March, but local police say they will keep targeting drivers who use their phones while stopped at intersections.

“Many drivers are getting the message (to put down handheld devices while driving), however, there are still many drivers that think they can hide their phones and still use them while driving,” said Mission RCMP Const. Alyn Beerda,who frequently pulls up beside vehicles stopped at red lights to see if the driver has a phone in hand.

Last month police and volunteers teamed up with ICBC to enforce and educate distracted drivers on the Cedar Valley Connector. The number of tickets handed out has not yet been released by Mounties.

Handheld devices are not just cell phones, explained Beerda, noting motorists are also forbidden to handle GPS systems and MP3 players  while driving.

“If you’re wearing headphones, you’re only allowed, by law, to put one in your ear,” said Beerda. “It’s so you can hear horns, sirens, and be more aware of your surroundings.”

“Distracted driving is the second leading cause of fatalities in the province,” said Don Miller, ICBC road safety coordinator for Abbotsford/Mission, adding only impaired driving ranks higher. “You’re four times more likely to be in a crash if you’re on the phone.”

According to the insurance company, on average, there are 88 fatalities each year in B.C. related to distracted driving.

Miller offered the following tips for road users:

• Leave your phone alone. No call or text is worth risking your life or others. Let calls go to voicemail and ignore your text messages while driving.

• Pull over to make or receive a call. If you have to take a call, pull over if it’s safe to do so or use your phone in hands-free mode; stay focused on the road and keep the conversation brief.

• Plan to avoid distraction. Turn your cellphone off or place it in the trunk of your car so you won’t be tempted to talk, email or text when you’re on the road.

• Assign a designated texter. Ask your passengers to make or receive calls and texts for you.

• Keep your hands off. Hands-free means a bluetooth or wired headset or speakerphone. If you’re using a headset or headphones, remember that drivers can only wear them in one ear.

Just Posted

Two men charged in separate drug busts in Abbotsford

Items seized in one case include fentanyl, heroin and $6,000

Second suspect wanted in attack on autistic man was alleged target in 2015 shooting

Parmvir Chahil lived next door in Abbotsford to victim Ping Shun Ao, killed by stray bullet

Mission firefighters battle garage blaze

Building, on Rolley Lake Street, will have to be destroyed

Suspect barricades himself in Mission home

RCMP use concussion grenade, chainsaw to enter residence and make an arrest

Auditors couldn’t tell if Fraser Health executives bought booze on taxpayers’ dime

Review from 2014 says one administrator bought Bose headphones on company credit card

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Lower Mainland rabbits confirmed killed by highly-infectious virus

Feral colony on Annacis Island in Delta died from hemorrhagic disease. Pet rabbits could be at risk

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Vaping device overheats, burns down home on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo Fire Rescue says units could cause fires in other homes and even aircraft

Most Read