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BC RCMP targeting distracted drivers in February

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Nearly one in three deaths on BC roads is linked to distracted driving and Mounties hope to cut the carnage by targeting violators throughout February.

BC RCMP Traffic Services has released preliminary figures for 2012 showing 30 per cent of motor vehicle deaths, and 37 per cent of serious injuries involved distracted driving.

Cpl. Robert McDonald says anyone using a handheld device behind the wheel could be handed a $167 ticket.

Do you put your phone on speaker and hold it under the dash so no one can see? McDonald says that’s a ticket for you! “Those hand-held devices have to be either mounted to the vehicle or attached to their person, like an earpiece or in the shirt pocket, where they could be activated with one touch.”

McDonald says distracted drivers could also face an additional charge of driving without due care and attention if they are spotted speeding, making unsafe lane changes or ignoring traffic signals.

The infraction carries a stiff fine of $368 fine plus six penalty points, potentially adding another $300 charge when insurance is renewed.