With a renewed focus on distracted drivers, Terrace RCMP will be conducting intensified education and enforcement targeting the behaviour through the month of March.
“If you get pulled over and receive a ticket there is no one to be mad at but yourself,” said Terrace RCMP inspector Sydney Lecky in a press release. “No call, email, text, etc. is worth putting your life and the life of others at risk. You have to leave your phone alone.”
In addition to random check stops, police across the province will be handing out ‘Think of Me’ cards to drivers featuring pictures drawn by local children from Terrace. The drawings are to remind motorists of the people they place at risk when their hands are not on the wheel.
“The issue is pretty dangerous,” RCMP Cst. Crystal Evelyn said over the phone. “Every year, 75 people are dying because someone wasn’t paying attention and driving distracted.”
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) defines anything that impacts a driver’s ability to focus on the road. RCMP officers will be doing operations around intersections throughout March using undercover techniques to spot drivers who are still holding on to their phones. The financial penalties attached to distracted driving can start at $368 plus four penalty points for a total of $543 for the first offence.
Cst. Evelyn said the random check stops are more to provide educational material, but she encourages other drivers to not be afraid to report a situation where they see someone distracted behind the wheel.
“Some people still aren’t getting the message that they aren’t the only ones on the road,” she said.
When making the report, she added, be sure to include details like the driver’s plate number, where they were, and what time the incident occurred.
Drivers with two convictions over a three-year period for using their phones or other electronic devices will also face higher premiums and could pay as much as $2,000 in penalties.