Distracted driving blitz nabs cell phone, seatbelt violators

By James Peters
September 21, 2017 - 11:03am

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops RCMP say an operation targeting distracted drivers this week uncovered some surprising results.

Mounties and representatives from ICBC set up near NorKam Secondary at 12th Street and Tranquille Road Tuesday morning.

"Actually, in two hours, we only saw one person drive by us who was actually on a cell phone," said Cpl. Jodi Shelkie. "I think, perhaps, she was too distracted by her cell phone to see there were six of seven extra people standing there in uniform on the corner."

Shelkie says traffic members found more violators as they combed the streets.

"We did have the RCMP IRSU (Integrated Road Safety Unit) out on the road in the area," she said. "In less than two hours, they got six violation tickets for people not wearing seatbelts. Also, they issued five violation tickets for people who were using their cell phones while driving."

"I think that's probaby indicative of what drivers are doing out there right now. Hopefully, the message got out that it's not safe to do this, it will help change some people's behaviour."

"Obviously, we'd like to see it that you don't see anybody using their cell phones. Five violation tickets in two hours in a neighbourhood is quite a high number. We'd like people to really take notice and to put away their cell phones."

Shelkie notes, after decades of seatbelts in vehicles and a law enforcing their use, Mounties still regularly see people riding without them.

"Well it does surprise us, the fact that it is so easy to do, it is also safe to do, and people still aren't doing it. So it's surprising in that way, but after so many years of seeing people not use their seatbelts, it doesn't surprise us, either," she said.

"For almost all of us, I would say, that's just something we automatically do; you get into your car, you do up your seatbelt. But there are still those people out there who aren't wearing them, for whatever reason."

Kamloops heroes kick off 2017 United Way campaign