Kelowna Mounties target distracted drivers

"During only a seven hour period, and with the use of a police officer in plain clothes, police issued 102 violation tickets to motorists

Kelowna Mounties went after distracted drivers Friday and handed out a “staggering total” of violation tickets.

Central Okanagan Traffic Services and the Kelowna RCMP Municipal Traffic Section teamed up for the safety blitz Sept. 4, targeting motorists along Lakeshore Road and Enterprise Way.

“During only a seven hour period, and with the use of a police officer in plain clothes, police issued a staggering total of 102 violation tickets to motorists,” said Const. Cst. Jesse O’Donaghey.

Of the total fines issued 50 of those, were to motorists observed using an electronic device while driving.

“Anytime a driver uses a hand held device while driving it takes their attention away from the road around them,” said O’Donaghey. “Roadways are very dynamic environments with situations and circumstances that can change quickly. By taking your eyes off of the road for even a moment you increase the chance of a collision.”

Police also issued 28 violation tickets to motorists failing to wear their seatbelts, an additional 18 tickets for both vehicle defects and insurance violations, as well as five six tickets for driver’s licence and speed related offences.

RCMP Central Okanagan Traffic Services would like to remind the motoring public of the following tips:

  • If you must use your device, pull your vehicle over to the side of the roadway;
  • Allow your phone calls to go to voice mail and check them when your drive is over;
  • Ask your passenger to make your calls and answer your texts if they cannot wait;
  • If you think you will be tempted to answer a call, a text, or an email while driving turn your cell phone off or lock it in the trunk;

The fine for using an electronic device without hands-free while driving is $167. Drivers caught dialing, texting or emailing may receive 3 Driver Penalty Points (DPP) in addition to the fine.