The Prince George RCMP’s Distracted Driving Awareness campaign continued last week with a static checkpoint the intersection of McGill Crescent and Domano Boulevard. On March 4, 2021, members from the Prince George Traffic Services Unit, the Citizens on Patrol volunteers and the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement team conducted “Cell Watch” at the College Heights intersection for four hours. Here are the statistics from this event: Traffic Services Unit:
- 11 x Use electronic device violation tickets
- 1 x Fail to display ‘N’
Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement:
- 9 x Distracted driving violation tickets
- 3 x defective vehicle violation tickets
- 1 x Speeding tickets
- 1 x Notice and Order to immediately remove the vehicle from the road until repairs are madeand it passes an Authorized Inspection
- 1 x Notice and Order to have the noted vehicle defects corrected and to pass an AuthorizedInspection within 30 days.
“All three services were surprised when, within a 90-minute period, they caught the same driver twice for using their cell phone while driving,” said Cst. Jennifer Cooper of the Prince George RCMP. “Members stopped the driver for using their cell phone while driving and for not displaying their ‘N’ symbol. The driver received a violation ticket for the two infractions and left the area. An hour and a half later, members stopped the same driver a second time for using their cell phone while driving and not displaying their ‘N’ symbol. The combined total for the violation tickets issued to this driver is over $800.”
The Citizens on Patrol (COP) volunteers conducted several Cell Watch events throughout the week to supplement the Distracted Driving Awareness campaign. Though they cannot pull vehicles over
and issue tickets, the COPs are watching and creating their own statistics. The COPs observed 3263 vehicles throughout the week and noted that more than 50 motorists were using an electronic device while driving. Others Motor Vehicle Act infractions they observed included not wearing a seatbelt and drivers’ controls obstructed by animals (pets).
“Overall our tasks for distracted driving are a success. Drivers we observe can expect to receive a warning letter in the mail explaining which offence(s) we saw and what the penalty could have been. We call this educational enforcement,” said Mike Burt, Program Coordinator for the Citizens on Patrol program.
Distracted driving and driver inattention account for 78 deaths on the roadways per year, according to ICBC. The Distracted Driving Awareness campaign continues throughout the month of March.