March was named distracted driving month in B.C., and according to Kelowna RCMP, the numbers show it’s a large issue in the city.
“We were on the lookout for people who were distracted driving, using electronics while driving,” said Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy
“As a result of that, just in the Kelowna area for the month of March, we issued 591 tickets for people using electronic devices while driving.”
The B.C. RCMP said police across the province conducted intensified enforcement throughout the month of March in a bid to educate British Columbians on the dangers of driving while distracted.
They say distracted driving is responsible for more than a quarter of all car crash fatalities.
591 tickets for the month of March is just over 19 tickets per day in Kelowna, which equates to over $217,000.
Kelowna RCMP said there’s a misconception that distracted driving tickets can only be issued for driving and using an electronic device.
However, there are a number of scenarios that could result in a ticket.
“Every police officer can tell you, we’ve seen everything in terms of distracted driving,” Noseworthy told Global News on Thursday.
“I’ve personally seen someone eating soup, putting on makeup, bent over digging in their bag, and a dog on their lap is another one.”
According to ICBC, on average 78 people die every year in crashes where distracted driving is a contributing factor.
And many recent studies show that you’re five times more likely to crash if you’re on your phone.