Vancouver police are asking that a repeat distracted driving offender be prohibited from getting behind the wheel again.
Earlier this month, the woman in her 40s, who police say is an “experienced driver,” was publicly exposed by Richmond RCMP on their Twitter account.
The document Tweeted by Richmond RCMP shows the woman had 12 prior distracted driving violations and had nearly collided with a Richmond RCMP officer while driving distracted.
Now, Vancouver Police spokesman Randy Fincham says the same woman was issued 14th ticket for distracted driving by one of their officers, and they are calling for more action to be taken in her case.
“Unfortunately, we are still seeing some people out there who are still not getting the message that distracted driving is taking lives,” Fincham said. “We believe it might have been the 14th distracted driving ticket that was issued to the same person in a relatively short time period.”
Fincham says they also believe the woman was texting during most of the infractions. He adds it’s the highest number of tickets that he has ever heard of getting issued to one individual.
In B.C., using your phone while driving carries a $167 fine – the second-lowest figure in Canada.
Ontario recently passed legislation to change the maximum fine to $1,000. And in Nova Scotia, fines were increased from $176 to $234 for a first offence, and from $350 to $579 for any subsequent offences this February.
“It’s not necessarily the money for the ticket that’s concerning,” said Fincham. “It’s the fact that this person is continuing to put people’s lives and safety at risk, driving and focusing her attention on her phone and not on the road, where it naturally belongs.”
He says police are applying with the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles to have them review the woman’s driving history and determine if, at this point, it might be more appropriate to have her licence suspended.
“Distracted driving is still one of the top three killers on the road,” Fincham said. “Eighty people every year lose their lives due to a distracted driver. These are the 80 people that could have been saved if people would keep their attention on the road where it belongs.”
Fincham adds it’s frustrating for officers to see the same person commit the same offence over and over again.
“It’s very concerning for us and we will do everything we can to try and keep the roads safe,” he said.
With files from Justin McElroy