Police tackle distracted drivers with safety blitz

Displaying distracted driving behaviour can land a driver a $167 ticket and demerit points.

  • Feb. 27, 2012 3:00 p.m.

Talking on your phone and driving in Mission can land you a $167 ticket and cost you three demerit points on your license.

Mission RCMP have been busy writing tickets over the past three weeks for drivers who continue to flout distracted driving laws.

The campaign, which began at the beginning of February, targets drivers who behave in a way that would cause him or her to take attention from the road, such as talking on a cell phone or applying makeup.

“Reducing fatalities and serious injuries continues to be a priority for all RCMP police services in British Columbia,” said Cpl. Sharon Siluch, spokesperson for the Mission RCMP detachment.

Traffic Services for the Lower Mainland District Regional Police Services released 2011 statistics which shows distracted driving was a contributing factor in 45 per cent of all collisions in the RCMP-policed areas of Lower Mainland.

Police handed out 32,266 tickets for distracted or inattentive driving last year, 687 of which were issued in Mission. Siluch said police have already handed out at least 131 tickets in Mission in 2012.

“All of these tickets are preventable, just like the fatalities and injuries that do occur, due to distracted driving,” said Siluch.

Police will be on the lookout for distracted driving behavior, which includes:

• Texting while driving;

• Talking on a hand-cell phone while driving;

• Reading a newspaper or book while driving;

• Shaving or putting on makeup while driving;

The fine for using an electronic device while driving without a hands-free attachment is $167. Drivers may receive three Drivers Penalty Points (DPP) in addition to the fine.

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