After a month-long campaign meant to curb the issue of distracted driving, Coquitlam RCMP said it appears motorists still aren’t getting the message.
In fact, police said, the numbers are “way” up.
“In March of 2018, our officers wrote twice the number of distracted driving tickets as we did in March of 2017,” said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin.
Last year, 72 distracted driving tickets out of a total of 636 traffic tickets were issued.
This year, that number rose to 145 distracted driving tickets out of 750 total tickets issued.
McLaughlin also credited new enforcement techniques as one of the reasons behind the increase.
“It looks like our enhanced enforcement efforts, combined with the use of special techniques like a bucket truck to spot people using their phones, were very effective,” he said.
Ultimately though, “our goal is not to write tickets, but to educate people that distracted driving is illegal, dangerous, and carries stiff financial penalties.”
As long as people ignore that message, he said, police will continue to use innovative techniques to try to keep the roads safe.
In light of these most recent numbers, McLaughlin reminded motorists that anytime they have a phone in their hand while driving, they put themselves at risk of a ticket.
“Even if you’re using a phone at a stop light, you’re still driving and that’s still considered an offence.”