Driver observed photographing police checkpoint while driving by

It’s the Campbell River RCMP, they have a message for you: Leave your phone alone!

A driver was observed taking a picture of a police distracted driving and seatbelt checkpoint with his cell phone…while driving past them, RCMP said.

On March 2, 2018, members of North Vancouver Island Traffic Services and the North Island Integrated Road Safety Unit kicked off the month-long distracted driving and occupant restraint campaign.

As part of the “E” Division’s provincial traffic enforcement objectives, throughout the month of March, members of the RCMP will be out in full force throughout communities on the North Island, targeting drivers using their cell phones, enforcing occupant restraint offences and any additional motor vehicle/commercial vehicle offences they observe.

Cpl. Bart Doerr, Unit Commander North Island Integrated Road Safety Unit, reports the March 2 kick off to this campaign had RCMP Traffic Services members working “call operations” throughout several locations in Campbell River. Members specifically targeted areas considered high risk in the community, such as intersections and high traffic volume corridors.

The following summarizes the 92 violations members encountered and enforced in an 8 hour period:

  • 14 drivers found using their cell phone while driving – one driver was observed taking a picture of the police with his cell phone while driving past them;
  • 24 people failed to wear a seatbelt;
  • 3 drivers were speeding;
  • 3 vehicles had no insurance;
  • 2 drivers were driving without a valid drivers license;
  • 2 drivers failed to produce their drivers license;
  • 1 driver was driving while disobeying a restriction on his drivers licence;
  • 1 driver failed to obey a stop sign;
  • 1 driver failed to stop at a red light;
  • 1 driver was driving while prohibited;
  • 1 driver was served a notice of prohibition from driving;
  • 1 commercial semi truck driver was found talking on his phone, no seatbelt being worn and was determined to be an unlicensed/prohibited driver resulting in his semi truck being impounded for seven days;
  • 1 vehicle had tinted film on the front driver and passenger windows;
  • 1 commercial driver was found without a log book;
  • 2 commercial vehicles were checked with overweight loads (overweight for the vehicles’ load restrictions);
  • 2 commercial vehicles were operating with insecure cargo;
  • 1 commercial vehicle was towed off the road immediately and ordered to go through a safety inspection;
  • 6 other vehicles were issued notices to undergo safety inspections within a 30 day period;
  • 1 driver was arrested for possession of stolen property; and
  • 14 other drivers were issued written warnings for various other infractions.

“The RCMP would like to remind the motoring public to comply with the rules of the road at all times. Leave your cell phone alone,” Doerr said.

If you are found using your cell phone while you are driving (which also includes being stopped in traffic at a red light), you will receive a ticket in the amount of a $368 fine and four demerit points ($175), resulting in a total of $543. If you collect more than three demerit points on your driving record in 12 months, ICBC charges you a Driver Penalty Point (DPP) premium. If you are found using your cell phone while driving a second time in a 12 month period, you will face a $368 fine totaling $888 A third offence could cost you over $3,000. However, that driver may not reach a third offence as the use of an electronic device is considered a high-risk offence. That means, two or more tickets in a 12 month period will mean an automatic review of the person’s driving record and a possible driving prohibition. New drivers (“N” driver) will face a possible prohibition after the first offence.

“That is definitely something to consider when your phone rings or you receive a text while driving,” Doeer said. “Bluetooth or pulling over in a safe manner and into a safe spot off the road, is a great alternative.

“The RCMP also want to remind vehicle occupants to buckle up. If you are found not wearing your seatbelt, you will receive a ticket in the amount of $167. The goal of these types of enforcement operations, is to educate and deter this type of driving behavior and keep you safe. These laws have been streamed out to the public for years and the responsibility rests with drivers and occupants of the vehicle to adhere to these rules. We want everyone to arrive safely wherever their destination is and arrive without a hit to your pocket book.”