Police in Surrey, Delta and Langley, B.C., worked in conjunction with ICBC to target distracted drivers Thursday.
“For the month of March, we are partnering with our police partners across the province to talk about distracted driving,” said Joanne Bergman, ICBC’s road safety coordinator.
“(Thursday) we will be at some intersections to enforce distracted driving fines, to find people looking at their phones. Down the road, we have some volunteers with signage to warn drivers, that police are ahead and to put away their phones. (Drivers) caught will have no excuse.”
Named Operation Hang Up, Langley RCMP, Surrey RCMP, Surrey police and Delta police are conducting a “one-day enforcement blitz” Thursday, as part of a month-long provincial campaign that aims to educate on distracted driving dangers and enforcement.
Using a five-year average, ICBC said 77 people die every year with distracted driving named as a contributing factor in the crashes.
“We are hoping, that with more enforcement and education more drivers put their phones away,” Bergman said.
A Surrey Mountie said the rules surrounding distracted driving are strict, with no wiggle room for excuses.
“Rules are strict. Under the Motor Vehicle Act, a phone has to be fixed to your vehicle. It can not be loose or on your seat,” said Sgt. Jason Barrett with the Surrey RCMP traffic enforcement unit.
“Legislation under the Act says you can activate your phone with one single touch, if it takes more than that it is not safe to do so.”
The fine for distracted driving is $368 and will cost four ICBC diver penalty points.