Don’t learn the hard way, says Terrace RCMP, mobile phones are off limits while driving. (Black Press file photo)

Terrace RCMP crack down on distracted driving

March is Distracted Driving Month and local police want to keep people safe

Keep your eyes on the road — drivers who answer phone calls or text while driving are more likely to get nailed with fines this month.

March is Distracted Driving/Occupant Restraint Awareness month and police across the province will be conducting intensified enforcement and education, checking for drivers whose attention may not always be on the road.

In Terrace, motorists can expect to see distracted driving signs, check stops, warning letters, and ticketing as reminders of the importance of keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Signs are posted in front of Caledonia, Suwilaawks, and École Mountainview schools, with checkpoints ramping up later this month.

With spring break coming up, Terrace RCMP are reminding motorists to keep themselves and others safe while on the road.

“This weekend marks the start of spring break in the north and that means families travelling to hockey tournaments, dance recitals, and just road tripping to other areas in the province,” says Cst. Crystal Evelyn.

“Every driver out there owes it to each other to help keep those roadways safe. Make sure you and your passengers are buckled up, and your eyes are on the road and your hands are on the wheel.”

READ MORE: Tougher penalties for distracted drivers in BC

While using an electronic device is one of the offences that fall under distracted driving, eating, drinking, personal grooming, reading, pets, and passengers can distract drivers from the road and lead to a ticket.

Distracted driving is responsible for more than 25 per cent 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.

READ MORE: Terrace RCMP crack down on distracted driving this month

Police are also reminding drivers to always buckle up, even if you are going short distances – while there are fewer fatal victims due to not wearing seatbelts, it does still occur. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $167.

Fines for distracted driving start at $368 and four penalty points for a minimum of $543 for the first offence. The costs go up even more with each subsequent offence. In addition, insurance costs may be affected.

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