Soup, cereal and cell phones: Distracted driving in the North Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Soup, cereal and cell phones: Distracted driving in the North Okanagan

Crime Prevention volunteer Blair Derry tries out the distracted driving simulator.
September 27, 2017 - 4:58 PM

VERNON - From bowls of soup to rear-view mirror make-up applications, Cpl. Mark Taylor has seen all kinds of distracted driving in the North Okanagan.

“We’ve had people eating bowls of cereal, three dogs on their laps… it’s still an offence,” Taylor says.

Then there are the numerous cellphone users who plead innocence after getting pulled over: ‘It’s an emergency’, ‘I need to just make this quick phone call’, ‘it’s business-related’ are some of the common excuses Taylor has heard.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of fatal and serious injury accidents and was the focus of an event today, Sept. 27, in Vernon put on by Vernon’s Crime Prevention Office in conjunction with ICBC and the RCMP.

Police officers, politicians, and the media got to try out a special distracted driving simulator — one of two that ICBC tours around the province. The simulator comes with a brake and a gas pedal, a steering wheel, and blinkers all hooked up to a computer program.

“It’ll direct you to use a telephone while you’re driving, to having an accident, maybe causing an injury or death, then the police would come into the simulator and then after that you would go to court,” Crime Prevention coordinator Regan Borisenko says.

While getting into a minor crash on the simulator might result in a ticket and expensive vehicle damage, a more serious incident might involve an air ambulance arriving on scene, court time and penalties. The simulator also brings to life longer-term consequences, such as applying for a job and being asked for driving history.

Using an electronic device while driving carries a $368 fine and four points on your license.

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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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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