Distracted driving awareness campaign kicks off in Kamloops

By Jill Sperling
March 7, 2017 - 11:55am Updated: March 7, 2017 - 5:36pm

KAMLOOPS — March is distracted driving awareness month, and drivers are once again being reminded to put their electronic devices away. 

ICBC, RCMP, and Community Safety volunteers could be spotted on the corner of 3rd Ave and Columbia Street Tuesday morning, reminding motorists to take their eyes off their phones and concentrate on the road. 

According to Ingrid Brakop, Road Safety Coordinator with ICBC, there are around 32 distracted driving related fatalities in the Southern Interior every year.

"Obviously it's a big issue and we are just reminding drivers that it's a decision that they can make for themselves to leave the cellphone alone while they're driving," Brakop said. "So, if you find that driving with your cellphone in your vehicle is a distraction it might be a really great idea to put it maybe into airplane mode, or shut it off and put it into the back of your vehicle so you don't have access to it."

While no one was being ticketed during the morning's awareness campaign, volunteers were keeping track of vehicles in which the driver was using a cell phone. 

Those drivers will receive a warning in the mail. However, they won't always get off that easily, and could face fines of more than $360 for a first offence. 

"The RCMP will be out and about in our communities throughout the month of March enforcing distracted driving," Brakop said. "So, that's also good incentive for individuals to leave the cellphones alone. So, this is a good kick-off to our March campaign."

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