Police are stepping up enforcement during the month of March with Distracted Driving/Occupant Restraint Awareness Month.
In a media release, police across the Province, including officers in the West Kootenay/Boundary region, will be conducting intensified distracted driving enforcement in your area.
Police said fatal and serious injury motor vehicle collisions due to distracted driving are completely preventable and BC RCMP Traffic Services is reminding drivers to keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel.
“Drivers are still using electronic devices in our area. In the last six months our unit alone has issued more than 170 violation tickets for electronic device us and seatbelt violations which is likely just the tip of the iceberg,” said Sgt. Chad Badry, the NCO in charge of the West Kootenay Traffic Section.
“There is no call that is important enough to put your life, your passengers lives, and other road users lives on the line. It just takes a split second of inattention to forever change lives".
Police said distracted driving is responsible for more than 25% of all car crash fatalities and is the second leading cause of fatal collisions in BC. Every year, an average of 78 people die in fatal motor vehicle collisions in BC because the driver was distracted or not paying attention.
Distracted driving is more than just using an electronic device but also includes other distractions such as personal grooming, eating/drinking, reading, pets, other passengers and not knowing your route. Doing any of these things while driving may cause your trip to end in tragedy.
It all starts with you, says Cpl. Mike Halskov of BC RCMP Traffic Services. Ask yourself if it is worth your life to answer a call, check your email or send that text while you are driving. Please make the right choice when you drive – ignore your phone and drive responsibly – your life may depend on it – and others are depending on you to get to your destination safely.
Police across the Province are stepping up distracted driving enforcement. The fines for distracted driving (using electronic device = 4 points or driving without due care = 6 points) start at $368 and 4 penalty points for a minimum of $543 for the first offence, and the costs go up even more with each subsequent offence. In addition, your insurance costs may be affected.
And, while there are fewer fatal victims due to not wearing seatbelts, it does still occur. Police recommend that you always buckle up even if you are going short distances – seatbelts and airbags work together to protect you and the occupants of your car. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $167.