Police have begun a month-long crackdown on distracted driving as well as enforcing seatbelt laws.

Police set sights on distracted drivers in West Kootenay

RCMP kicks off month-long campaign against distracted driving

West Kootenay Traffic and West Kootenay Integrated Road Safety Unit will be joining Traffic Services across the province to conduct a month-long campaign combating distracted driving and ensuring occupant restraint compliance.

This campaign is particularly timely with children heading back to school this week when driver’s need to pay extra attention. Expect to see police paying extra attention in and around schools.

“We are still seeing drivers using their cellphones in the Kootenays. One of the biggest misconceptions about cell phone use in the vehicle is at intersections or while stopped in traffic,” said A/Sgt Chad Badry of the West Kootenay Traffic and Integrated Road Safety Unit in a press release.

“This is particularly dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists,” he added.

According to ICBC statistics, every year, on average, 31 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior. That is the most of the four provincial regions, which included Lower Mainland (27 deaths), Vancouver Island (10 deaths) and North Central (15 deaths).

“Police see cell phones in cup holders or center consoles in the vast majority of vehicle stops,” said Badry. “The best place for your cell phone while driving is out of reach. With smart phones specifically designed to alert, notify, and, ultimately distract, it is extremely tempting to check your phone while driving or at an intersection if it is in reach.”

Chief Constable Neil Dubord, chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee, was very clear about the goal of the month-long campaign.

“B.C. drivers know it’s against the law, but far too many still make excuses for their behaviour, and put themselves and others at risk by using their phone while driving,” he said, in the release. “That’s why we’re cracking down on those who cannot police themselves. Even when you’re waiting at an intersection or stuck in traffic, the law is clear you aren’t permitted to use your phone.”

Badry told the Trail Times in an email reply that seatbelt use also continues to be a concern, albeit not as much as distracted driving.

“We do find that some people are not wearing seatbelts. Generally, compliance is very high though. So far this year, we have issued over 300 tickets for seatbelt related offences.”

Badry said the regional safety unit covers a wide area from Rock Creek to Kootenay Pass and the U.S. Border to Nakusp.


Just Posted

Sandblasting Silver City skate sign

The Trail Sk8 Park was closed on Thursday so workers could ready a sign for painting

Area A seeks views on cannabis rules

The public hearing for Area A residents will go Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m.

Trail liquor store held up Friday night

The perpetrator was brandishing a weapon that appeared to be a gun, according to the Trail RCMP

Trail Smoke Eaters lose in shootout to Coquitlam Express

The Trail Smoke Eaters battled the Express in a tight checking 2-1 shootout loss on Friday

Lest We Forget

Crowd fills downtown Trail for Remembrance Day ceremony

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Talking transgender issues with Nelson advocate

Nov. 20 is the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Most fatal overdose victims did not have recent police contact: Stats Canada

11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to return Acosta to the White House.

Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

US trial to tell epic tale of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo”

Guzman’s long-awaited U.S. trial begins Tuesday in New York

Most Read