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Prince George driver ticketed twice in 90 minutes for using a cell phone

Citizens on Patrol found more than 50 motorists were using an electronic device while driving
distracted driving stock
March is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. | File photo

As Distracted Driving Month continues, Prince George RCMP are continuing to ticket commuters who aren’t getting the message.

For a four-hour period on March 4, the Prince George Traffic Services Unit, Citizens on Patrol volunteers and the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement team (CVSE) conducted Cell Watch at a College Heights intersection.

"All three services were surprised when, within a 90-minute period, they caught the same driver twice for using their cell phone while driving," explained spokesperson Cst. Jennifer Cooper in a news release today (March 15). 

"Members stopped the driver for using their cell phone while driving and for not displaying their ‘N’ symbol. The driver received a violation ticket for the two infractions and left the area. An hour and a half later, members stopped the same driver a second time for using their cell phone while driving and not displaying their ‘N’ symbol. The combined total for the violation tickets issued to this driver is over $800."

Traffic Services also handed out 11 total tickets for electronic-device use behind the wheel during the same four-hour period.

CVSE also handed out the following tickets:

  • Nine Distracted driving violation tickets
  • Three defective vehicle violation tickets
  • One Speeding ticket
  • One Notice and Order to immediately remove the vehicle from the road until repairs are made and it passes an Authorized Inspection
  • One Notice and Order to have the noted vehicle defects corrected and to pass an Authorized Inspection within 30 days.

The Citizens on Patrol (COP) volunteers conducted several Cell Watch events throughout the week to supplement the Distracted Driving Awareness campaign.

Police explain, though they cannot pull vehicles over and issue tickets, COPs are watching and creating their own statistics.

The group observed 3,263 vehicles throughout the week and noted that more than 50 motorists were using an electronic device while driving.

Other Motor Vehicle Act infractions they saw included not wearing a seatbelt and drivers’ controls obstructed by animals (pets).

“Overall our tasks for distracted driving are a success," states Mike Burt, Program Coordinator for the Citizens on Patrol program. 

"Drivers we observe can expect to receive a warning letter in the mail explaining which offence(s) we saw and what the penalty could have been. We call this 'educational enforcement.'"

Distracted driving and driver inattention account for 78 deaths on the roadways per year, according to ICBC.

The awareness campaign continues throughout the month of March.