Vernon and North Okanagan
Leave the phone alone
Sep 5, 2013 / 1:31 pm
Residents in Vernon should not be shocked to see members of the RCMP Citizen Patrol group out and about with sandwich boards this month, as part of ICBC’s “Distracted Driving” campaign.
The group is supervised by the RCMP and members are equipped with security clearance, uniforms and training.
The campaign is part of the Cell Watch Program, which is an education based initiative aimed at reducing the number of distracted drivers. It’s designed to remind drivers that its illegal and dangerous to use hand held cell phones and other portable electronic devices when driving.
Volunteers will set up “Leave the Phone Alone” sandwich boards at intersections and along major corridors as directed by local police to raise awareness. They will also be set up at locations based on community complaints.
Statistics by the RCMP for 2008-2012 show:
- Distracted driving is responsible for about one quarter of all car crash fatalities in BC
- Distracted driving is the third leading cause of car crash fatalities in BC, with 91 deaths each year due to driver distractions, such as using a personal electronic device behind the wheel.
- Distracted driving is narrowly trailing behind other high profile causes of fatal collisions: on average, 115 deaths occur in speed-related crashes, and 95 in impaired-related crashes.
- Every year, on average, 34 people die in the Southern Interior in distracted driving-related crashes.
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