Drivers fail to buckle up

Motorists caught using electronic devices behind the wheel during a one-day enforcement campaign in Vernon Thursday: 12

Motorists caught not wearing seatbelts during the same campaign: 42.

Four members of the Vernon RCMP’s North Okanagan Traffic Services unit, plus one reserve constable, spent Thursday conducting a distracted driving enforcement campaign, part of a province-wide, month-long RCMP initiative.

“The seatbelt numbers are staggering,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk. “I can’t believe the numbers are that high despite our years of public information. I’m very surprised.”

The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $167 whether you’re driving a vehicle or you’re a passenger.

The 12 drivers caught using a cell phone behind the wheel Thursday also face a $167 fine.

“I see folks quite often on phones or texting behind the wheel, so that number is not as surprising to me,” said Molendyk, who also related a tale from one of the officers working the campaign.

After a driver was advised he was stopped because he was not wearing his seat belt, he offered up this response to the officer:

“I heard on the radio about the cell phone enforcement being done. I didn’t think you would be charging for seat belt infractions,” said Molendyk.

Police issued five other ticket infractions during Thursday’s campaign, as well as 10 written warnings.

“The RCMP wants to remind the public that these enforcement actions are for the safety of not only the people in your vehicle but all of the motoring public,” said Molendyk.


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