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Behind The Wheel

Texting while stopped at a red light

Intersections can be dangerous places both because it is a place of high crash risk, but also because it can be a place with a significant risk for being ticketed. Traffic police have become creative when working at intersections as related in the article Beware the Flower Clown and Other Roadside Characters. Last week's character held a Happy Valentine's Day sign and was watching for drivers texting at the red light.

Almost 80 drivers stopped at the red light, grabbed their cell phones and started to text. Almost 80 drivers were flagged out of traffic and ticketed for doing so in the few hours that the operation lasted. It was much too easy to catch offenders said the officers who operated the check.

Did these people think that it was OK to text as long as their vehicles were not moving? Clearly their attention was drawn to the phone as it is no secret that police use this tactic and the character with the sign was in plain view. If they had paid proper attention to the driving task they would have been able to identify the threat and avoid the ticket!

Just in case you missed it, "use" includes simply holding the device in a position in which it may be used and this is illegal when you are driving or operating a motor vehicle on a highway. When you are the driver, sitting in your vehicle waiting at a red light is operating a motor vehicle on a highway.

The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit www.drivesmartbc.ca.



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About the author...

Tim Schewe has been writing his column for most of the 20 years in his traffic enforcement service in the RCMP. It was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and now Castanet.net. Schewe retired from the Force in January of 2006, but the column became a habit and continues.

E-mail him your questions or concerns: [email protected]
 




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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