Llong-range scopes the detachment has begun using to catch distracted drivers. (Langley Advance Times file)

Police on alert for distracted Okanagan drivers

Month-long campaign focuses on drivers not paying attention behind the wheel

Police in the Okanagan and across the province will be conducting intensified distracted driving enforcement this month.

Every March and September, police across BC participate in the Distracted Driving and Occupant Restraint enforcement campaign. This September is no different.

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

According to provincial data, 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 76 people die in fatal motor vehicle collisions in BC because the driver was distracted or not paying attention.

“It all starts with you,” said Supt. Holly Turton, Officer in Charge of BC RCMP Traffic Services. “Ask yourself if it is worth your life or someone else’s to answer a call, check your email or send that text while you are driving.

“Please make the right choice when you drive – ignore your phone and drive responsibly, your life may depend on it – and others may depend on you to get to your destination safely.”

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

And then there is this type of driver: the one who can’t maintain a steady speed, can’t maintain their lane, stops well short of the stop line (or fails to stop altogether), and the ones who remain stopped even though other traffic has started moving.

“Driving while distracted may cause your trip to end in tragedy for you or someone else,” said Cpl Mike Halskov, BC RCMP Traffic Services’ media relations officer. “Please don’t be that driver.”

Police across the province are working together with its partners in road safety, ICBC and RoadSafetyBC, to step up distracted driving enforcement during the month of September and beyond.

The fines for distracted driving start at $368 plus four penalty points and a $252 driver penalty premium assessed by ICBC for a minimum $620 for a first offence. In addition, your insurance costs may be affected.

And, while seatbelt compliance is generally quite high in BC, on average, 52 people are killed every year in collisions that may have been survivable had restraints been worn. Occupant restraints refers to all occupants of your vehicle, including children who are required to be secured in an approved infant or child seats, appropriate to age and height.

Police recommend that you always buckle up even if you are going short distances – seatbelts and airbags work together to protect you and the occupants of your car. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $167.

Police are asking all motorists to always wear seatbelts and leave electronic devices alone when driving for your own safety and that of others.

Follow these links for more information:

*RoadSafetyBC;

*ICBC.

READ MORE: Okanagan RCMP officer hailed as hero for saving home from fire



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

distracted drivingRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ahead of the provincial election on Oct. 24, Enderby residents put their questions to the Shuswap riding’s three candidates: Greg Kyllo for the BC Liberal Party, Sylvia Lindgren for the BC NDP and Owen Madden for the BC Green Party. The candidates recorded their answers in videos distributed by the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce. (Salmon Arm Observer image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Shuswap candidates answer Enderby’s top election questions

The candidates submitted video responses for an all-candidates forum ahead of the Oct. 24 election

Shuswap BC NDP candidate Sylvia Lindgren reports several campaign signs have recently been damaged or removed. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap BC NDP candidate says campaign signs stolen and damaged

Sylvia Lindgren says with pandemic, signs are more important to candidates this election

Curtis Sagmoen
Public warning issued to North Okanagan sex trade workers

RCMP warns workers to stay away from Salmon River Road area

From left, city workers Hugh Bennett, Chris Carr and Teneal Crossman secure the fountain they’ve just removed from McGuire Lake on Oct. 21, 2020 before the ice moves in. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm fountain disappears along with summer

No more fountain in McGuire Lake as winter preparations begin

Two pigs roam the Salmon Arm Walmart parking lot during a prior visit photographed by Danielle Burgi. (Danielle Burgi photo)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Kelowna Capital News)
B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Penticton law courts. (Black Press file)
Osoyoos man in court for alleged shooting

The Oct. 11 shooting left a man with non-life threatening injuries

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Princeton man on motor scooter refuses to provide breath test to police

The scooter did not have a license plate and was not insured

The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP located a hidden compartment in a vehicle, leading to a significant drug seizure, police said in a media release Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP find illicit drugs in hidden vehicle compartment

Police seized 4 kg of methamphetamine from a Jeep involved in a violent hit and run March 24

Most Read