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Police watching for cell phone use

On Tuesday, the Kelowna RCMP found 31 violators of the law

RCMP officers stopped 31 drivers who were on their cell phones, not wearing seatbelts or driving over the speed limit.

Excessive speeders and electronic device users kept RCMP traffic enforcement officers and tow truck operators busy, with just over a dozen vehicles towed from Kelowna roadways yesterday.

The Kelowna RCMP Municipal Traffic Section partnered with RCMP Central Okanagan Traffic Services, a provincial traffic unit, to conduct joint enhanced enforcement in the Kelowna area Tuesday.

In a roughly two hour period, enforcement officers stopped a total of 31 violators, who were allegedly caught on their cellular devices, not wearing their seatbelt restraints or, in the majority of cases, speeding over the posted speed limit.

“As many as 13 of those 31 violators, stopped by police, had their vehicles towed from the roadway and impounded due to the excessive speeds they were observed travelling,” said Cst. Chris Neid. “The top speed we detected was a dangerous 151 km/hr within a posted 90 km/hr zone. The driver of that particular vehicle was identified as a class 7 new driver, he was found to have an expired drivers licence and had been flagged by the motor vehicle branch to be served a three-month prohibition from driving a motor vehicle.”

The group moved enforcement locations and netted an additional 18 drivers, in just over an hour’s time, each caught using their electronic devices behind the wheel.

This Friday marks the start of the month long Distracted Drivers Campaign and Occupant Restraint Campaign throughout the province of British Columbia.

Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the Kelowna RCMP, said “the motoring public can once again expect to see these municipal and provincial RCMP traffic enforcement officers as they join forces to conduct a solid day of focused enforcement in the Kelowna and Lake Country area.”

“Enforcement targeting drivers distracted by electronic devices and those who fail to wear their seat belts will continue throughout the entire month of September, as RCMP continue to do their part in an effort to keep your roadways safe,” adds Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.