BC RCMP are ramping up efforts to catch distracted drivers/no-seat belts in March. (Black Press file photo)

West Kootenay police step up patrols to catch distracted drivers

Still not getting the message? Maybe a $543 ticket, at minimum, will help stop distracted driving.

West Kootenay drivers still aren’t getting the message about distracted driving.

Need evidence of that?

More than 170 tickets for electronic device use and seat belt violations have been issued in the past six months, says Sgt. Chad Badry from West Kootenay Traffic Services.

“Which is likely just the tip of the iceberg,” he said in a Thursday media release.

“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”.

Read more: West Kootenay police take 18 impaired drivers off the road

Badry’s advisory is timely because March is “Distracted Driving/Occupant Restraint Awareness Month” in British Columbia.

Police across the province are stepping up distracted driving enforcement, including West Kootenay patrol units.

“Fatal and serious injury motor vehicle collisions due to distracted driving are completely preventable,” the release reads. “And BC RCMP Traffic Services is reminding drivers to keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel.”

For those who don’t get the message, maybe a heft fine will help them see the light.

Tickets for distracted driving – specifically using an electronic device – start at $368. On top of that, there’s also four penalty points for a minimum of $543 for the first violation, and costs go up even more with each subsequent offense.

If the driver is ticketed for driving without due care, the points are upped to six and insurance costs may be affected.

While there are fewer fatal victims due to not wearing seat belts, the RCMP say it does still occur.

“Police recommend that you always buckle up even if you are going short distances – seat belts and airbags work together to protect you and the occupants of your car.”

The fine for not wearing a seat belt is $167.

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 B.C.

Every year, an average of 78 people die in fatal motor vehicle collisions in British Columbia because the driver was distracted or not paying attention.

Distracted driving is more than just using an electronic device, it also includes other distractions such as personal grooming, eating/drinking, reading, pets, other passengers and not knowing your route.

The RCMP advises, “Doing any of these things while driving may cause your trip to end in tragedy.”



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Zoning mix-up nixes Shoreacres property sale

Man says the RDCK’s listings online don’t match his property’s official zoning

Castlegar coach receives Basketball BC honour

Cheryl Closkey recognized for 50 years of volunteering

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Rural Kootenay communities to receive high-speed internet upgrade

The provincial government is increasing internet connectivity to rural British Columbia

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Most Read