A police vehicle was captured by a dashcam swerving across the road while driving on the Port Mann Bridge in Metro Vancouver this month, just one day after heightened distracted driving fines came into effect.
While it is unclear whether the officer driving the vehicle was distracted, a video posted online shows the cruiser weaving out of its lane several times over a few minutes.
Roger Andrews, the driver whose dashcam captured the video, says the cruiser pulled in front of his car on the bridge and quickly slowed down from around 100 kilometres per hour to 60 kilometres, causing him to jam on the brakes.
“He or she accelerated again and then shortly thereafter slowed down again and started to veer off into the cement divider on the side of the freeway,” Rogers told Global News.
The RCMP say they checked the logs for the driver in question and report they were responding to a suicidal male in the area.
“As he was getting real time updates, the police officer was attempting to locate this male. We can appreciate that questions are being raised about the driving behaviour.”
While police officers are exempt from the province’s distracted driving laws, the RCMP’s policy is that drivers are not supposed to text, email, or touch the laptop installed on their dashboards while driving.
“I don’t know why it was such a bad thing to be dispatched verbally, why it has to be on computer. I don’t think it’s good for them and I don’t think it’s good for us,” added Andrews.
The dashcam video was captured on June 2, 2016, just one day after fines for distracted driving increased to between $538 for a first-time offence and $3,000 for a third offence within 12 months.