Number of distracted drivers in Vernon overwhelms police - InfoNews

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Number of distracted drivers in Vernon overwhelms police

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
March 14, 2017 - 1:24 PM

VERNON - Police in the North Okanagan couldn’t keep up with the sheer volume of distracted drivers spotted during a brief, two-hour road check last week.

On Friday, March 10, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Mounties conducted a cellphone operation on 27 Street in Vernon in support of Distracted Driving Month, Const. Jocelyn Noseworthy says in a media release.

During that time, officers issued 15 cellphone violations — and those are just the ones that were caught. Police say the biggest concern was that the officers were unable to keep up with the amount of distracted drivers.

“At least 15 more drivers were seen on their cellphones but were unable to be stopped by police because of safety concerns and timing,” Const. Gary McLaughlin of North Okanagan Traffic Services says in the release. “This means that, on average, there was a distracted driver passing this police operation every four minutes.”

Distracted driving and inattention is a top contributing factor to motor vehicle crashes, along with drug or alcohol-affected driving, and speeding, states the release. Drivers who use hand held devices are four times more likely to get into collisions.

The RCMP is reminding the motoring public to leave their cellphones alone when driving.

The fine for distracted driving is $368 and four penalty points. 

— This story was updated at 10:19 a.m. March 15, 2017 to add the penalty for distracted driving. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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