In the midst of a month-long distracted driving blitz, some RCMP detachments in the Lower Mainland are resorting to more unconventional measures to get drivers off their phone.
In North Vancouver, “several” large overhead electronic signs are now emblazoned with the the words, “Police Ahead – Stay Off Your Phone!”
“During the afternoon commute drivers will be forewarned of police enforcement ahead of them, “said North Vancouver RCMP Cpl. Richard De Jong. “We are giving out this very public warning in the hopes our officers will not catch any violators that day – that may be wishful thinking.”
Over in Coquitlam, its police officers themselves that will be hovering over roadways looking for would-be distracted drivers.
This includes hanging out in cherry pickers, and overhead SkyTrain platforms, among other locations.
“When you are distracted you completely lose situational awareness,” said Cpl. Quentin Frewing, of the Coquitlam RCMP. “I once saw a driver looking at his phone while stopped at a light. As I walked to the front of his vehicle wearing my neon police jacket, the light behind me turned green.”
The driver, “looked right through me and started driving forward. I had to slam my hand on the hood of the car for him to realize there was a police officer standing in front of him.”
According to ICBC, there are over 875 crashes in BC and many of these are caused by distracted driving.