October 12, 2017 6:20 pm

Burnaby RCMP hand out 917 tickets to distracted drivers in September

Burnaby RCMP handed out more than 900 tickets to distracted drivers in September.

File Photo

The war on distracted driving in the Lower Mainland is still raging.

During the Burnaby RCMP’s September distracted driving enforcement campaign, officers handed out 917 tickets to drivers who would not leave their phones alone.

In addition to the $368 fine, these drivers also got four demerit points on their licenses.

In one distracted driving incident, police stopped a man who was using his phone and, after noticing the smell of marijuana, found nine and a half kilograms of pot.

The pot was seized by Mounties along with $1,000 in cash.

A 28-year-old man and his 53-year-old mother, both from Vancouver, are now facing charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

WATCH: B.C.’s higher distracted driving penalties now in effect

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In two other separate incidences, police pulled over people playing Pokemon Go while driving.

Another distracted driver had their car impounded for 24 hours after Burnaby RCMP officers caught him driving under the influence of marijuana.

Burnaby RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Daniela Panesar said this shows some drivers are still not getting the message that distracted driving is as dangerous as driving impaired.

“You’re five times more likely to crash if you’re using your phone,” she said.

“Hopefully all of the drivers ticketed through September will learn to leave their phone alone.”

READ MORE: NDP asks ICBC to look at high-tech solutions to distracted driving

It’s a problem not exclusive to Burnaby. In Vancouver, police handed out close to 2,000 tickets for distracted driving last month.

The tickets were issued during the month of September, when police launched the Provincial Distracted Driving campaign aimed to crack down on that behaviour.

The fine for using distracted driving is $543, “but that cost is nothing compared to the cost of losing a loved one. It’s time to take a break from your phone,” said Sgt. Jason Robillard in September.

~ with files from Estefania Duran and Terry Schintz

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