TERRACE, BC: Turn it off or put it in the glove box: that’s the message Terrace RCMP wants to send drivers unable to keep their hands off their electronic devices while driving.
March is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and police across the province, including the Terrace RCMP and West Pacific Region Traffic Services, will be conducting intensified enforcement targeting such behaviour.
“If you get pulled over and receive a ticket, there is no one to be mad at but yourself,” said Terrace RCMP Inspector Sydney Lecky. “No call, email, text, etc. is worth putting your life and the life of others at risk. You have to leave your phone alone.”
To help spread the message, police will also be conducting check stops and handing out Think of Me cards to drivers. The cards feature pictures drawn by local children during a contest presented by ICBC in partnership with RCMP. The innocence of the drawings is meant to remind motorists of the people they place at risk when their eyes are not on the road and both their hands are not on the wheel.
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.
Although the use of electronic devices is a big focus for the local campaign, distracted driving also includes other attention diversions such as personal grooming, eating/drinking, reading, pets, other passengers and not knowing your route. Doing any of these things while driving may cause your trip to end in tragedy.
The financial penalties attached to distracted driving are as serious as the risk such actions pose to others on the roadways. Fines for it (using electronic device equals four points or driving without due care, six points) start at $368 and four penalty points for a minimum of $543 for the first offence, and the costs go up even more with each subsequent offence.
Written and released by Terrace RCMP