Saanich police traffic safety officers and members of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined forces to cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich police traffic safety officers and members of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined forces to cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

A distracted driving crackdown at a Saanich intersection resulted in police issuing nearly 70 tickets in two hours on Wednesday morning.

Starting at 8 a.m. on March 3, Saanich police and members of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) scoured the intersection of McKenzie Avenue and Quadra street for drivers using electronic devices as part of a Distracted Driving Month campaign conducted every March with ICBC.

By 10 a.m., the officers had issued 67 tickets – 40 for cellphone-use and the rest for not using seatbelts, intersection violations and other offences, said Colleen Woodger, road safety and community coordinator for ICBC.

READ ALSO: BC RCMP defines use of an electronic device after ticketing Saanich mom

The morning was a reflection of similar enforcement happening across B.C., she said. Using an electronic device while driving is the second leading cause of fatal crashes in the province – about 78 deaths annually.

Staff Sgt. Jereme Leslie with the IRSU emphasized that while there are many different things that can draw drivers’ attention away from their task, any time drivers take their eyes off the road the risks increase.

“It’s really important that you’re using all of your faculties while you’re driving and ensuring you’re aware of your surrounding,” he said.

READ ALSO: Unclear laws to blame for cupholder cellphone tickets: lawyer

Not only can distracted driving lead to serious injuries or fatality, but it can also result in a hefty fine. Drivers are issued a $368 ticket under the Motor Vehicle Act and four demerit points on their licence.

Fully licenced drivers who receive more than two distracted driving tickets in three years face up to $2,500 in fines and premiums. Those who receive two or more tickets in one year may have their record reviewed with the potential for a driving ban lasting up to a year.

Drivers with a learner’s or a novice licence have a zero-tolerance policy and face a six-month driving ban on their first offense. Young drivers are still establishing their driving habits and using electronics behind the wheel can’t be treated lightly, Woodger said.

Leslie noted distracted driving isn’t just an issue among young drivers. “We’re really seeing a large age range – everything from grandparents all the way down to new drivers.”

READ ALSO: Victoria woman who drove with phone on driver’s seat acquitted of distracted driving charge


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

distracted drivingICBCSaanich Police Department

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(Left to right) Const. Markus Anastasides, public information officer for the Saanich Police Department, Colleen Woodger, road safety and community coordinator for ICBC, and Staff Sgt. Jereme Leslie with the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined forces to tackle distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

(Left to right) Const. Markus Anastasides, public information officer for the Saanich Police Department, Colleen Woodger, road safety and community coordinator for ICBC, and Staff Sgt. Jereme Leslie with the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined forces to tackle distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Just Posted

Eli, left, Brent, Lindsay and Ava Wilson. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Wilson)
West Shore families share experience in raising a child with autism

Two families reveal some parallels, but circumstances are different for everyone

Kit Thornton, chief aquarist at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, plays with Wanda, the female Giant Pacific octopus currently residing at the centre. The centre will release Wanda back into the wild next month. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
An octopus named Wanda will soon say goodbye to Sidney

Wanda’s personality is ‘complete opposite’ of previous octopus named after Dr. Bonnie Henry

Hamels Fabrics & Quilting is set to open on April 6 in Sooke. The shop is located at 2044 Otter Point Road. (Mark Martins/Pixabay)
Fabric and quilting store opens doors in Sooke

Shop is filled with all kinds of ‘bright, bold and cheery’ designs

Saanich Fire Department on the scene after a car crashed into the Walmart in Uptown. (Photo courtesy Dan Wood)
PHOTOS: Saanich firefighters free trapped workers at Uptown Walmart

Incident reported as explosion after driver rammed through wall

Tiny packets of carrots ready to be distributed in Victoria. (Submitted/Victoria Seed Share)
Free Victoria seed sharing collective bags work experience funding

Fully volunteer run Victoria Seed Share will get a boost from provincial grant

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

Immunization plan comes with built-in options for any unused vaccines at the end of the day

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Most Read