RCMP double number of issued distracted driving tickets, despite higher fines

Coquitlam Mounties issued 145 tickets for the illegal acts in March, during province-wide blitz

Despite stiffer fines, Coquitlam RCMP say their officers handed out double the number of distracted driving tickets last month compared to the same time during the year before.

In March, which is Distracted Driving month across B.C., Coquitlam Mounties issued 145 tickets for the offence, compared to 75 tickets during the same month in 2017.

“Ultimately our goal is not to write tickets, but to educate people that distracted driving is illegal, dangerous, and carries stiff financial penalties,” Cpl. Michael McLaughlin said in a news release.

“As long as people ignore that message, we’ll continue to use innovative techniques to try to keep our roads safe.”

READ MORE: Tougher penalties for distracted drivers in B.C.

READ MORE: ICBC rates could go up 30 per cent by 2019, report shows

Those fforts include using a bucket truck to spot people using their phones behind the wheel, as well as using spotters on bikes and motorcycles or walking through rows of cars at stop lights.

Distracted driving accounts for an average of 78 deaths per year, according to ICBC – more than drunk driving deaths.


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