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Kelowna  

Put the phone down

Texting and driving on Lakeshore Road today? Chances are you got a ticket.

The Kelowna RCMP held a distracted driving enforcement blitz Wednesday morning on Lakeshore Road to discourage drivers from picking up their phone while behind the wheel.

RCMP volunteers were set up near a traffic circle with a sign reminding people to "leave the phone alone."

The volunteers were tallying how many distracted drivers they saw.

Those who didn’t heed the advice of the sign were met with RCMP constables on the next block, handing out tickets.

A plainclothes officer stood by the side of the road with a walkie-talkie, and radioed ahead to officers with a description of the texting driver’s vehicle.

Const. Cory Schneider, in his plainclothes outfit, said he had been seeing fewer infractions than previous years.

In the three hours the RCMP were monitoring the area, they gave out 37 tickets for using an electronic device while driving. 

Christine Kirby, ICBC road safety co-ordinator, said distracted driving is the second leading cause of driving fatalities in B.C., behind speeding. Distracted driving kills more people than impaired driving.

“Thirty-one people in the Southern Interior die every year because of distracted driving,” Kirby said. “Put the phone down, leave the phone alone and concentrate on driving.”

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