RCMP volunteer Gary Toneff watches for distracted drivers at the Lexington Drive traffic circle on Lakeshore Drive Wednesday morning

RCMP conduct distracted driving blitz

Kelowna RCMP partner with ICBC to spread distracted driving awareness

Roughly half a dozen RCMP officers were on Lakeshore Road Wednesday as part of a distracted driving blitz.

The blitz was part of a joint campaign between Kelowna RCMP and ICBC to promote the message of leaving phones alone while driving and enforcing the rules on those breaking them, as March is Distracted Driving month in BC.

“Our volunteers are counting the drivers they observe violating those laws, and they have signage out here reminding drivers to leave their phones alone,” described RCMP Constable Jesse O’Donaghey.  “Then just down the road there are half a dozen enforcement officers enforcing those laws.  So if they are ignoring the message and continuing to operate their vehicle while talking on their phone or texting or other things, they’ll get the fine.”

The distracted driving fine is $167, and O’Donaghey explained just what constitutes distracted driving.

“Just various uses of a cell phone,” he said.  “Texting, accepting calls, checking your emails, changing a song or even dialling a number.  Distracted driving could also be considered putting on makeup, or eating food, or reading a newspaper or a book, or shaving.  We’ve seen a lot of those things, and I’m sure other people have too.”

Additionally, O’Donaghey noted using a map on your phone is also not okay if it causes you to physically handle your phone.  However, mounted GPS or phones dashboards are okay as they are in the driver’s line of sight while not obstructing their view of the road.  With that said, he added it’s only okay as long as you aren’t handling them while driving.

“If you need to answer your call or you have an important message you’re expecting, pull over, don’t put others at risk,”  O’Donaghey said.  “Pull over and check that message, and when you’re certain you’re done with that message continue on.  Or delegate someone in your car, a passenger as the designated texture, like a designated driver.  Just keep your eyes on the road, because that half a second can be deadly.”

Last year, 31 people were killed by distracted drivers in the Southern Interior.  O’Donaghey noted that’s a number that needs to come down, which is why RCMP enforcement officers are often performing activities such as the one on Wednesday, where they fined 37 drivers in three hours.

 

Just Posted

Season wraps for Kelowna Rockets

The Rockets came close to a playoff berth, but were bounced out by Kamloops in tiebreaker

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Friday last day before rain and clouds return

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny Friday, but darker weekend days

West Kelowna Firefighters to host memorial golf tournament

The 1st annual Troy Russell Memorial honors the late firefighter

Kelowna 4th worst city in B.C. for homeless deaths

A report from BC Coroners Service reveals the most recent numbers from 2007 to 2016

Record rotary auction makes Okanagan dreams come true

Kalamalka Rotary Club donates more than $194,000

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Update: Highway 3 near Keremeos open to alternating traffic

Details scarce about collision that has closed Highway 3 west of Keremeos

Okanagan librarian delves into trio of titles

Book Talk: Dark Matter, Lincoln’s Dreams and The Jealous Kind

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Most Read