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Citizens on Patrol watching for distracted drivers

North District Traffic Unit and Community Policing Section
North District Traffic Unit and Community Policing Section

RCMP volunteers with Citizens on Patrol Program conducted cell watch throughout the last seven days in several different locations in the city. Volunteers observed approximately 2,263 vehicles and found over 40 motorists driving while using an electronic device, and five people not wearing a seatbelt.

One of these tasks took place this past Sunday (September 24) where two officers from North District Regional Traffic Services and one general duty officer from the Prince George municipal detachment joined seven RCMP volunteers at two different locations.

“During Sunday’s task officers wrote 10 violation tickets to drivers; some for using an electronic device and some for other violations,” said Melissa Lang, Assistant Program Coordinator for Citizens on Patrol.

“Working together with officers on educational tasks such as cell watch (distracted driving) is one of the best parts of being a volunteer with the RCMP,” said Gail, Citizens on Patrol volunteer.

Giving back to the community by reminding them of the dangers of distracted driving is an important message that everyone needs to share.

Distracted driving accounts for more fatalities on B.C. roads than impaired driving. Approximately 78 people are killed as a result of distracted driving and driver inattention every year, according to ICBC.

“Overall our tasks for distracted driving are a success, as even if drivers were not stopped by officers most will receive a warning letter in the mail explaining the offence(s) observed and what the penalty could have been; that is what we call educational enforcement,” Mike Burt, Program Coordinator for Citizens on Patrol.

For more information on Citizens on Patrol or to learn about crime prevention, go to http://princegeorge.rcmp-grc.gc.ca as an alternative, contact the Prince George Community Policing Office by calling (250)561-3366 or dropping by the office located at 455 Victoria Street, Prince George.

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