Castlegar driver faces fine for checking smart watch while driving

Police on patrol for distracted drivers this month

A Castlegar driver has been hit with a hefty fine for checking her smart watch while driving.

On Monday, an officer with the West Kootenay Integrated Road Safety Unit nabbed a driver for using an electronic device while driving on Columbia Avenue in the city.

“What initially grabbed the officer’s attention was the driver focussing intently on her watch,” says Sgt. Chad Badry of the West Kootenay Traffic Services. “He then watched her start to tap and swipe the watch.”

The woman was pulled over and the officer determined the driver was using a smart watch.

A clear case of using an electronic device while driving, she faces a fine of at least $368.

“It’s almost worse than using a conventional cell phone,” says Badry. “Trying to steer and read messages on a smart watch is just not smart.”

“Aside from the potential penalty if caught, the consequences could be devastating for all involved as we saw exemplified in the Quebec court decision yesterday,” says Badry.

There, Martin Carrières, 39, was sentenced to four years in prison for texting while driving, causing an accident that killed a driver and injured two teens.

March is distracted driving/occupant restraint month for all police in BC.

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