BC RCMP are ramping up efforts to catch distracted drivers/no-seat belts in March. (Black Press file photo)

West Kootenay police step up patrols to catch distracted drivers

Still not getting the message? Maybe a $543 ticket, at minimum, will help stop distracted driving.

West Kootenay drivers still aren’t getting the message about distracted driving.

Need evidence of that?

More than 170 tickets for electronic device use and seat belt violations have been issued in the past six months, says Sgt. Chad Badry from West Kootenay Traffic Services.

“Which is likely just the tip of the iceberg,” he said in a Thursday media release.

“There is no call that is important enough to put your life, your passengers lives, and other road users lives on the line. It just takes a split second of inattention to forever change lives”.

Read more: West Kootenay police take 18 impaired drivers off the road

Badry’s advisory is timely because March is “Distracted Driving/Occupant Restraint Awareness Month” in British Columbia.

Police across the province are stepping up distracted driving enforcement, including West Kootenay patrol units.

“Fatal and serious injury motor vehicle collisions due to distracted driving are completely preventable,” the release reads. “And BC RCMP Traffic Services is reminding drivers to keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel.”

For those who don’t get the message, maybe a heft fine will help them see the light.

Tickets for distracted driving – specifically using an electronic device – start at $368. On top of that, there’s also four penalty points for a minimum of $543 for the first violation, and costs go up even more with each subsequent offense.

If the driver is ticketed for driving without due care, the points are upped to six and insurance costs may be affected.

While there are fewer fatal victims due to not wearing seat belts, the RCMP say it does still occur.

“Police recommend that you always buckle up even if you are going short distances – seat belts and airbags work together to protect you and the occupants of your car.”

The fine for not wearing a seat belt is $167.

Distracted driving is responsible for more than 25 per cent of all car crash fatalities and is the second leading cause of fatal collisions in B.C.

Every year, an average of 78 people die in fatal motor vehicle collisions in British Columbia because the driver was distracted or not paying attention.

Distracted driving is more than just using an electronic device, it also includes other distractions such as personal grooming, eating/drinking, reading, pets, other passengers and not knowing your route.

The RCMP advises, “Doing any of these things while driving may cause your trip to end in tragedy.”



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

RED resort announces new ski lift

Topping lift will add new ski area to resort, reduce bottleneck on Motherload chair

Update: Bodies recovered from Pend d’Oreille River crash

To help support the family, a fundraiser has been set up at Kootenay Savings in Fruitvale

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read