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Police keep busting distracted drivers despite campaigns highlighting danger

Last Updated Mar 26, 2016 at 9:43 am PDT

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Police say they continue to bust an increasingly high number of distracted drivers

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Despite repeated messaging and ongoing campaigns — local police say they continue to bust an increasingly high number of distracted drivers. And with the long weekend upon us, officers are concerned the bad habit will be front and centre on local roads.

Every year dozens of deaths are blamed on distracted driving.

Delta Police Sergeant Sarah Swallow feels people are addicted to their phones, but she’s pleading with you or anyone you know to just focus on the road. “Our officers are writing five or six distracted driving tickets — and this is cellphone tickets — a day and that’s not with them having to hunt those tickets down. That’s not sitting in an intersection doing a targeted campaign, that’s just our officers driving around in marked cars.”

“It does still surprise me how many people are still using their phones [behind the wheel]. To give a personal example, a couple of weeks ago I was commuting along the highway and I turned into a monster by the end of the week because every time I looked over at another car somebody was on the phone.”

Remember, they’re not just looking for people using their phones, police are going after anyone who’s doing something that distracts them and that includes coffee-drinkers, women doing their make-up and people with dogs on their laps.

She suggests putting your phone on silent or in the backseat even in the trunk if you can’t help from checking it while you’re driving.

Fines in BC are one of the lowest in the country at $167 and three penalty points, but the provincial government is promising to introduce tougher penalties sometime this spring.