New Westminster – The New Westminster Police Department is teaming up with ICBC to tackle distracted driving, which is responsible for approximately one-quarter of all fatal crashes in the province. People driving through New Westminster can expect to see Traffic Unit members and volunteers in various locations looking for distracted drivers.
“By this point, people know that using any electronic device while driving is against the law,” stated Sergeant Greg Smith of the NWPD Traffic Unit. “When you’re sitting at a light, motorists need to remain alert to their immediate surroundings and ready to proceed when the light turns green.”
Crashes reached a record high in 2017, with many of these caused by distracted or inattentive driving. While cellphone usage rightly gets a lot of the attention, distracted driving includes any activity that impacts your ability to focus on the road while in control of a vehicle.
Every year, on average, 27 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Lower Mainland. The New Westminster Police Department Traffic Unit urges drivers to keep the phone out of sight, and use the ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ feature on iOS devices, ‘In-Traffic Reply’ on Samsung phones.
The fine for a distracted driving ticket is $368, along with four driver penalty points that will be applied to the driver’s record.