Seatbelt violations shock cop

RCMP in Vernon joined their brethren across the province Thursday targeting electronic device and seatbelt use in the city.

It was part of a campaign aimed at reminding people to get home safely to their loved ones on Valentine's day.

February is also Distracted Driving Month as police concentrate on drivers who continue to ignore the law and drive while using electronic devices.

During Thursday's one day blitz, Vernon RCMP issued more than 50 tickets including:

  • 42 for failure to wear a seatbelt
  • 12 for using an electronic device
  • 5 others
  • 10 warnings
  • 1 two month driving prohibition order

RCMP spokesman, Gord Molendyk, says he was shocked at the numbers.

"Normally the seatbelt numbers are much lower," says Molendyk.

"If the seatbelt and electronic device numbers were reversed I would not have been surprised at all."

Molendyk says it's easy to find motorists on a daily basis who drive while using their cells phones, but with the amount of publicity and enforcement seatbelt use has received over the years, the high number of violators surprised him.

He says one driver pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt even told the officer, "I heard on the radio about the cell phone enforcement being done - I didn't think you would be charging for seatbelt infractions."

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