Vancouver’s police has said it hopes 2018 will bring fewer distracted drivers, less tickets, and more self-awareness from motorists. Speaking to News 1130, Sergent Jason Robillard says it is currently a frequent event that police must write distracted driving tickets because so many drivers are caught using mobile phones behind the wheel.
“Even when I’m out of uniform I see people and I’m sure everybody else does, on their phones when they’re driving whether it’s at a stop sign or at a red light,” he said. “It’s definitely becoming a pretty big problem on the roads.”
Vancouver has a major distracted driving problem. Even during a month-long education campaign last September, 2,000 distracted driving tickets were issued by the city.
“I believe we could have written more,” Robillard remarked. “It just solidified the fact that this is a problem and it goes beyond policing and police officers as to how we can reach out with tickets and get people to stop their behaviour. We have to reach out to people and ask them to remind their loved ones at home to put the phone down when you’re driving.”
Robillard says rising distracted driving tickets are due to a growing reliance on mobile phones, with many drivers obsessed with devices. Like most other Canadian locations, Vancouver has labelled distracted driving a high-risk driving behavior and has attempted to stop it by introducing harsher penalties for drivers.
Starting Mar. 01, 2018, distracted drivers caught more than one over a three year period will pay up to $2,000, a $740 increase over the current limit.