Thursday, March 13, 2014

RCMP News

How to Avoid a Cop Coupon

Over 700 tickets issued in February to distracted Langley drivers

Released by Cpl. Holly Marks, RCMP

 

hile many motorists are under the impression that distracted driving is a thing of the past, over the month of February, Langley RCMP issued 702 violation tickets for this offence alone! 

 

February was designated as Distracted Driver’s month and Langley Traffic Section focused their efforts on this offence through various enforcement initiatives.

 

Officers have been in unmarked cars and employed innovative ways to identify individuals in violation of the legislation. Officer’s focused their efforts at intersections in Langley where we are seeing a high number of collisions.

 

The legislation has now been in force for four years! Where has the time gone?  Driver distraction is a leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C.

 

When you’re distracted behind the wheel your reaction time is significantly reduced,” said Leanne Cassap, ICBC’s road safety coordinator for Langley. “Distracted driving is a common cause of rear-ended crashes and injuries – there is no safe following distance when your full attention is not on the road.”  30% of all fatalities in the Lower Mainland are related to Distracted Driving! 

 

The legislation came into force on January 1st of 2010 and states that:

• drivers cannot send or read emails or text messages;
• drivers cannot make or take calls unless using a hands-free device;
• drivers cannot hold or operate any electronic device;
• learners and novice drivers or graduated license holders (GLH), cannot operate handheld or hands-free devices.

“Using” an electronic device includes:

• holding the device;
• operating one of its functions (i.e. pressing buttons);
• talking on the device;
• watching the device.
 

“Electronic devices” include:

• cell phones, Blackberry, and other handheld devices that have telephone capabilities and/or on which you can send text messages or e-mails;
• I-Pods and other audio players;
• GPS systems;
• Hand microphones;
• Televisions.
 

This legislation is designed to improve road safety as studies have shown those using electronic devices while driving have a four times greater chance of being involved in a collision than those not using one. Drivers who are safely and legally parked off the roadway are permitted to use electronic devices. They may also be used if hands-free technology is being utilized or if an emergency is being reported to a police department, fire department or ambulance service (i.e. calling 911).

You may not use or hold your electronic device while stopped at a intersection, whether it be a red light or stop sign, etc.

Violation Tickets and Fines  

Graduated license holders who cannot use any electronic device within the meaning of the legislation will receive a violation ticket with a specified penalty of $167 dollars and 3 penalty points will be assessed to their driver’s license. 

• Drivers using an electronic device that is not allowed by the legislation but does not involve emailing or texting (i.e. talking on a cell phone) – $167 dollars and no penalty points.

• Drivers using an electronic device to communicate with another person or another device by email or other text based message, or by dialing – $167 dollars and 3 penalty points.

The cost of a violation ticket exceeds the cost of most hands-free blue tooth devices.

To comply with the law, drivers are permitted to utilize hands-free technology that is activated by a single touch to a button, or when it is safe to do so, pull over and stop their vehicle before they talk or email.   

Langley RCMP encourages our motorists to recognize road safety as an individual’s responsibility.  If you would like additional information, please visit ICBC’s website at the following links:

www.icbc.com/road-safety/safer-drivers/distractions

www.icbc.com/road-safety/drivers-passengers/distractions.pdf

Anyone with questions or concerns can call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200 and ask to speak to someone in the Traffic Unit.

 

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