Advertisement

Okanagan RCMP’s creativity reaping rewards in catching distracted drivers

RCMP are on the lookout for distracted drivers from inside of a shuttle bus in the South Okanagan over the weekend. .
RCMP are on the lookout for distracted drivers from inside of a shuttle bus in the South Okanagan over the weekend. . Courtesy: RCMP

Police are going incognito while trying to catch distracted drivers, and it’s working.

If you find yourself next to a shuttle bus, it might not just be another wine tour — there could be officers looking for distracted drivers and those who live for the thrill of not wearing a seatbelt.

READ MORE: B.C. police launch distracted driving blitz as tough new penalties take effect

“The gloves are off as far as the operational plans we’re putting in place,” RCMP Cpl. Ryan Mcleod said.

“We are devising new ways to intercept distracted drivers and encourage a change in their behaviour.”

During a distracted driving enforcement campaign, RCMP used a mix of marked and unmarked police vehicles, as well as a shuttle bus to catch distracted drivers. In the Penticton area, 94 seatbelt violations were handed out as well as 54 cellphone violations.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: B.C.’s legal marijuana rules: possession limit, growing at home and drug-impaired driving

“In one case, the shuttle bus called out a lady that was driving by, phone pressed up her to her ear, chatting away. The officer caught up to her with his police vehicle, followed her for a while, she continued her call. Turned on the red and blue lights, still oblivious,” Mcleod said.

The current fine for distracted driving is $368 and four demerit points. Failure to wear a seatbelt will take $167 out of your wallet.

READ MORE: Drunk driver downs utility pole in Osoyoos

While handing out fines and licence points, police also impounded two vehicles for excessive speeding, apprehended one person in Penticton with an outstanding warrant of arrest and discovered a drunk driver in Summerland.