South Okanagan RCMP take off the gloves during distracted driver blitz
South Okanagan Traffic Services used a shuttle bus as a surveillance platform during a busy weekend of enforcement of seatbelt use and distracted driving.
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March 05, 2018 - 1:40 PM
PENTICTON - South Okanagan Traffic Services ramped up enforcement of distracted drivers with some innovative methods over the weekend.
Police spokesperson Cpl. Ryan McLeod says officers were out in full force on the weekend, using a mix of overt and covert enforcement techniques that saw the unit take over 200 enforcement actions, resulting in 94 seatbelt tickets and 54 cellphone violations.
RCMP used both marked and unmarked vehicles, and even used a shuttle bus as a mobile surveillance unit, according to an RCMP media release. Officers rode on the bus spotting and photographing violators.
"We also had officers in civilian clothes hanging around at intersections, spotting violators and calling in the enforcement teams,” MacLeod says in the release.
"The gloves are off," he says.
MacLeod says in one case they spotted a woman driving with her phone against her ear, "chatting away." An officer followed in his police car with lights flashing and she drove several blocks — still talking on the phone — before stopping in a mall parking lot seemingly unaware. The officer walked up to the vehicle and she was still on the phone.
"It begs a question. If you can't spot a police car behind you with its emergency lights on, what else are you missing?” MacLeod says.
Police also arrested an impaired driver who also wasn't wearing a seatbelt. The driver received a 90-day driving prohibition and his vehicle was impounded for 30 days.
Another driver stopped for not using a seatbelt was also found to be wanted on an outstanding warrant. He was taken into custody.
Police also impounded two vehicles for excessive speeding during the weekend blitz.
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