It appears people are still not getting the message about distracted driving.
In a recent traffic blitz conducted by the Kamloops RCMP, a driver was fined for being on their phone, and then was pulled over again 13 minutes later for doing the same thing. (A similar incident happened in March; that time, the two tickets were 45 minutes apart.)
“It’s frustrating for us as I imagine it is for a lot of the public,” says Cpl. Jodi Shelkie. “It’s an obvious disregard for the law and a disregard for other drivers' safety and pedestrian safety.”
The blitz took place at two locations in town on June 8. Mounties handed out 95 tickets: 23 for using an electronic device, 17 for failing to wear a seatbelt and 55 for “miscellaneous tickets and warnings.” Police also removed six unsafe vehicles from the road.
“We’re not quite sure what the solution is,” Shelkie says of the distracted driving charges. “We see now that we can’t enforce our way out of this because people consider the fine, I guess in this situation, they’re willing to pay the fine.”
She thinks for the violations to come down, people’s values have to change, like they did around drinking and driving.
“Years ago, if somebody had a few beers and drove home, it was no big deal. But now, people are very much policing each other.”
Drive distracted and the fine is $368 plus four demerit points.
The Kamloops Traffic Section also did a blitz May 23 to 25 and looked for unsafe light commercial vehicles (vehicles that may not normally go through the scales). Police issued 380 tickets and ordered 48 inspections.