March 17, 2017 7:57 pm

Kelowna drivers still confused on distracted driving: police

RCMP say too many people are still confused about what constitutes distracted driving.

File / Global News

There are about 800 vehicle crashes daily in B.C., according to ICBC, and Kelowna RCMP say many of those are due to distracted driving.

The high number of accidents caused by distracted driving is the reason B.C. has designated March as Distracted Driving Awareness month.

According to ICBC, distracted driving is a contributing factor in 78 deaths annually on B.C roads.

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Kelowna RCMP held a sting operation to catch drivers along Enterprise Way Friday. Police say the public still doesn’t seem aware of what exactly defines distracted driving.

“The offence is complete when the person has that electronic device in their hand, whether they are using it or not,” Constable Steve Holmes said. “Operating a motor vehicle means when the vehicle is on the roadway and the engines running you are operating the motor vehicle.”

People are using their phones as audio devices with headphone and ear buds which is allowed as long as all rules are followed, said Holmes.

“The law allows only the use of one ear bud or headphone speaker for one ear,” he said. “So you can’t have both ear buds or headphones on while you’re driving.”

RCMP say the best advice is to completely ignore your phone while behind the wheel unless you want a $368 fine. The only exception is if you are making an emergency call to 9-1-1.

Follow this link to see a more in depth list of what qualifies as distracted driving.

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