North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP cracked down on distracted driving and other infractions in a recent two-day blitz. (Citizen file)

RCMP issue 18 tickets, more than $6K in fines, to drivers using cell phone in recent blitz

“Distracted driving is taken very seriously by the RCMP,” said Insp. Chris Bear.

Traffic officers from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP collected $6,624 from motorists after issuing 18 violation tickets for use of an electronic device while driving on Feb. 28 and March 1.

Officers also issued nine distracted driving warning tickets during the two-day blitz aimed at cracking down on Motor Vehicle Act infractions.

“Distracted driving is taken very seriously by the RCMP,” said Insp. Chris Bear, officer in charge of the detachment. “By using your electronic device [while] driving, you are selfishly taking away your full attention and jeopardizing not only your safety, but those of your passengers, other motorists and pedestrians.”

Officers set up at various locations throughout the greater Duncan region and not only issued the nine warnings and 18 tickets at $368 a pop, but an additional five violation tickets and eight warning tickets for various other Motor Vehicle Act infractions ranging from driving without insurance to failing to stop at a red light to turning left from the wrong lane — all with hefty fines of their own.

During the event, police also began an investigation under the Criminal Code of Canada for a driver who was under a driving prohibition but was found to be driving.

RCMP note that drivers are responsible for their actions while driving and should be aware of the laws that apply under the Motor Vehicle Act in British Columbia. Police are also reminding registered owners of vehicles that they are also liable for those who they permit to drive their vehicles.

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