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Distracted 'L' driver crashes into, injures VPD officer

Last Updated Oct 4, 2019 at 7:06 am PST

(Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

A VPD officer was hit by a distracted driver, who has received a $586 ticket

The officer's injuries have not been revealed and his timeline to return to duty is unclear

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s further proof just how dangerous it is to be distracted behind the wheel.

On Sept. 23, a 19-year member of the Vancouver Police Department was injured after being hit by a car while pulled over to the side of the road writing up a distracted driving ticket for somebody else. The traffic officer was stopped on McGill Street near the on-ramp to the Second Narrows Bridge.

“He was sitting in his vehicle and writing a ticket and another driver came up from behind and was obviously not paying attention and collided with the back of his [police cruiser.] The VPD officer has been off work since the incident and the driver of the vehicle who struck him was a 47-year-old man from Vancouver,” explains VPD Constable Steve Addison.

The driver who hit the officer had an ‘L’ and was issued three tickets under the Motor Vehicle Act. “One was for driving without due care and attention, one was for disobeying his driver’s licence restriction and one was for failing to display the ‘L’ magnet on his vehicle,” adds Addison.

In total, the tickets cost the driver $586. His license hasn’t been suspended as that decision doesn’t fall to police but to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles and ICBC.

“Obviously the driver was quite distracted by something and wasn’t paying attention and it’s concerning for us. We need everybody who is using the road to be switched on and be paying attention to where they’re going. As we always say, road safety is shared responsibility. It doesn’t matter if you’re a driver or a cyclist or a pedestrian, everybody needs to be on high alert and paying attention so we can all get to where we need to go safely and get there in one piece,” Addison says.

The officer’s injuries have not been revealed and his timeline to return to duty is unclear.

“If you look at the dashcam video that was taken from the witness driver, that driver appears to be going normal speeds in the left lane and the driver who caused the accident, you can see, does go flying by him at a much higher rate of speed, it is incredibly dangerous. I don’t know what was causing this driver to be distracted.”

The current fine for a distracted driving ticket is $368 and four penalty points. Stiffer penalties were introduced in March of 2018 and also meant anyone caught driving distracted twice in three years could face added increases to their insurance premiums and fines of up to $2,000, a $740 increase over the previous penalty.