A screen grab from a video shows a Surrey RCMP officer approaching a car in a McDonalds drive-thru in Surrey. (Submitted)

B.C. Mountie’s warning to not talk on phone to driver at drive-thru sparks online rage

Police say it was just a ‘quick reminder’ for driver who was on phone before pulling into drive-thru

Surrey Mounties say they are not targeting motorists in fast-food drive-thrus for distracted driving and ticketing them for being on their cell phones.

Nevertheless, social media is abuzz after video surfaced of a Surrey RCMP approaching the driver of a vehicle in a McDonald’s drive-thru.

On May 8, Twitter user @DrDangles87 posted a video of a Mountie walking through a parking lot and up to a vehicle going through the drive-thru. The Twitter user asked if RCMP is “actually out here ticketing people for using their phones at a drive thru.”

“Is this a joke? This is harrassment,” the Tweet reads.

Surrey RCMP responded saying this happened two weeks ago, and the officer “issued a verbal warning to the driver after observing them allegedly using a device while driving prior to entering the drive thru area.”

Police said a ticket was not issued.

The officer, Surrey RCMP said, was in the area “following up on an unrelated investigation.”

“They were not conducting targeted enforcement in the drive-thru.”

Corporal Elenore Sturko told the Now-Leader the incident arose from something “that didn’t have anything to do with the drive-thru.”

She said two officers were in the area investigating something else and were pulling into the McDonald’s parking lot when they saw a motorist, prior to being in the drive-thru, talking on a cell phone.

“The person drove right by them talking on the phone,” she said. “The person was chatting on their phone. They weren’t in there targeting, they just saw a person drive by on their phone.”

Sturko said they told the motorist what they were doing was illegal, as a “quick reminder.”

“It is standard practise for an officer who sees someone committing a dangerous act like talking on a cellphone to engage with members of the public and make the decision at the time whether, based on their discretion what they’ve observed, whether they would issue a ticket or a warning.

“In this case they had observed a person who was in violation of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act by operating an electronic device while driving, and could have received a pretty hefty fine, but instead opted to give that person just a warning,” Sturko said. “Regardless of the fact that it’s a drive-thru or a parking lot, under the Motor Vehicle Act those are considered part of the roadway and still subject to enforcement of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act.”

That said, she added, “I can tell you that officers are not targetting drive-thrus. We are not targeting drive-thrus.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates talk climate change and environment at recent forum

Forum on Tuesday grilled candidates about plan to bring about low carbon emission economy

Celgar says equipment failure won’t affect production next week

The chip dumper collapse on Oct. 6 is still under investigation

Greater Trail at odds with BC Hockey

Greater Trail Bantam Rep players left without a league

Vaping harder to detect in Kootenay high school

Devices becoming more discrete, easier for students to disguise

Court action in Trail acid spills may take years

B.C. court case involves a number of defendants and a number of plaintiffs

VIDEO: U.S. officials refute British couple’s ‘accidental’ border-crossing claim

Authorities say couple was arrested after illegal entry from B.C., with $16,000 and marijuana

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Most Read