Feature Story                                                         Saturday March 19, 2016

 

Chilliwack Fails Road Test

Distracted driver campaign yields a truckload of tickets in two hours

Staff/Voice photos

 

RCMP UFVRD Cst. Mike Sabulski speaks to a suspected distracted driver at Luckakuck and Vedder Thursday.

 

hilliwack, you failed — miserably. On Thursday, local Mounties, Integrated Road Safety Units, Fraser Valley Traffic Services, Chilliwack Speed Watch and representatives from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia assembled at the Luckakuck Way and Vedder Road intersection to look for distracted drivers. And they found them — by the dozens.

 

In 2 hours, police nailed 37 people using an electronic device behind the wheel. And those were just the ones who were seen.

 

"No call or text is so important it’s worth risking your life." says Cpl. Mike Rail. "Let calls go to voicemail and ignore your text messages while driving." 

 

Get caught red-handed, and drivers are handed a $167 fine plus 3 demerits on their licence.

 

According to ICBC statistics, distracted driving is responsible for an average 81 deaths in crashes every year in British Columbia.

 

"One in four deaths on BC roads involves distracted driving," says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Schumann. "If you have to take a call, pull over if it’s safe to do so or use your phone in hands-free mode. Stay focused on the road and keep the conversation brief and calm."

 

Chilliwack police released the numbers of violation tickets dished out during the distracted driving blitz yesterday.

37 Use Electronic Device

18 Fail to Wear Seat Belt
16 Defective Vehicle
1 Improper Motorcycle Helmet
1 Red Light at Intersection
3 Notice and Orders (unsafe vehicles)
1 3-Day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (alcohol)
———————————————————
77 total

 

"It’s time we all commit to leaving our phones alone and avoiding other forms of distraction when we’re behind the wheel," says Karen Klein, local ICBC Road Safety Coordinator.

 

The carnage on the roads isn't showing any signs of slowing down. If anything, it's getting more dangerous to drive to the store for a litre of milk.

 

Obviously, drivers can't do it, so it's up to Smartphone manufacturers to stop the carnage by designing phones that don't work behind the wheel.

 

RCMP handout photo

 

Useful Links

• Distracted driver legislation reminder from the RCMP.

• General road safety information from Safer City.

• Road safety and distracted driving from ICBC.

 

"Chilliwack RCMP would like to acknowledge our partners from The City of Chilliwack Safer City Team and ICBC for their commitment throughout the month of March to the education of Chilliwack motorists on the danger of Distracted Driving."

 

 

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