(Twitter/RCMP)

Eating cereal, trimming nose hairs – it’s all illegal while driving

One traffic enforcement officer shares his experiences Distracted Driving Awareness month

Eating cereal, reading a book or petting a dog – Sgt. Lorne Lecker has seen drivers do it all.

The traffic enforcement officer has worked almost 30 years for the RCMP, and now with the Deas Island Traffic Service across the Lower Mainland. September is Distracted Driving Awareness month.

“I once saw a person driving with a baby standing up and leaning on the steering wheel,” Lecker said. That driver was later issued a ticket and child protection services was called.

Just last week, Lecker said he watched a driver brushing their teeth.

He also recently saw a man trimming his nose hairs with cuticle scissors at the wheel. “What if he was to go over a bump?”

Humour aside, Lecker has also seen firsthand the fatal consequences that driving distracted can have.

He was driving along Highway 1 once 20 years ago, behind a driver who was eating yogurt, when the man crashed into a tree. He ended up dying in Lecker’s arms.

“It’s in my mind every day,” he said.

Thousands of tickets issued since then, Lecker said if the only way to stop distracted driving is to hit someone with a hefty fine, then so be it.

“If people can’t realize on their own that driving is one of the most dangerous tasks in their life, and involves your full attention,” he said, “I would rather write a thousand tickets than witness one more fatal collision.”

Distracted driving met with plenty of excuses

When it comes to using your phone or other electronic device, Lecker said he has handed out almost 2,000 tickets for such an offence since the law took effect in 2010. Fines and penalties are now at $368 and four penalty points.

Distracted driving by other means can end much worse for the driver, with a $368 ticket for driving without due care and six penalty points.

Lecker said it’s pretty easy to spot a driver looking down at their phone, but many of them still try to weasel out of the fine.

“It wasn’t a phone, it was a wallet, hairbrush, banana, etc.,” Lecker said he’s heard many times, and even, “’I was just using it to check the time.’”

Some people insist they were only looking during a red light.

“People seem to feel they are doing it safely and for everyone else it’s a risk,” he said. “But driving is a deadly serious business. It needs one’s full attention.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna RCMP seek public assistance in identifying wanted suspects

If you can identify these suspects, please contact the Kelowna RCMP or Crime Stoppers

Missionwood Retirement Resort donated $3,734 to support the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.
Soup sale helps benefit YMCA of the Okanagan

Missionwood Retirement Resort raised $3,734 for the Strong Kids campaign

Diane Galbraith won $100,000 in a Luxury Crossword Scratch and Win. (Contributed, BCLC)
Kelowna photographer in the spotlight after winning big

Diane Galbraith won $100k in a scratch and win, purchased in Kelowna

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Kelowna man faces charges after alleged break-and-enter spree

RCMP called the alleged crimes, ‘very serious in nature’, impacting businesses, victims

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Wanted Kelowna man arrested after allegedly driving stolen vehicle

38-year-old Kelowna man had an outstanding warrant for his arrest

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

Elections BC has sent out almost 700,000 mail voting packages as of Oct. 14 with just under 3.5 million registered voters. (Black Press Media File)
By Oct. 21, Elections BC had received an estimated 396,900 returned vote-by-mail packages. This represents about 55 per cent of packages issued to date. (Black Press Media File)
Early voters in Southern Interior contribute to breaking records

61,900 vote-by-mail packages were requested in the Southern Interior

(Kamloops this Week)
Grandfather accused of using grandchild to make child porn residing in Salmon Arm area

66-year-old’s offences alleged to have taken place in Kamloops

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stacey Darren Alec pleaded guilty to three charges relating to child pornography at the Vernon law courts Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Guilty plea in child porn charges for Vernon man

The man in his 50s will appear for sentencing Nov. 9

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vernon-Monashee candidate Harwinder Sandhu signs have been tampered with repeatedly leading up to the Oct. 24 election. (Contributed)
More Okanagan election signs vandalized

Vernon-Monashee NDP candidate Hardwinder Sandhu hit hard with repairs

Kristy Dyer Cartoon
Dyer: Wood pellets cause carbon emissions in more ways than one

Kristy Dyer has a background in art and physics and consulted for Silicon Valley

Most Read