Distracted driving and occupant restraint safety

Ridge Meadows

2023-03-09 14:57 PST

File # Public Advisory

Maple Ridge B.C. – Education and enforcement for distracted drivers was the plan by the Ridge Meadows Road Safety Target Team (RSTT) and Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) today.

volunteers holding signs police officers talking to drivers in vehicles. volunteers crossing the street with signs

On March 9, 2023, the Ridge Meadows RSTT and CRU teamed up in collaboration with ICBC and Ridge Meadows Crime Prevention Services through enforcement and awareness regarding the dangers of driving while distracted. The Messages in Motion initiative kicks off the start of the province’s Road Safety Campaign for distracted driving and occupant restraint safety this month.

The Police teams set up on Dewdney Trunk Road near Edge Street equipped with cameras and observed drivers using an electronic device while driving and/or vehicles where the occupants failed to wear a seatbelt while in a motor vehicle.

The Crime Prevention Services volunteers carried signs with messages of 'leave the phone alone' and 'pay attention to pedestrians' while they crossed at marked crosswalks along Dewdney Trunk Road. The signs being held by the volunteers served as the primary ‘warning’ and education and those that chose to disregard these messages were stopped by police and issued Violation Tickets for their offences.

Drivers were issued Violation Tickets for the observed offences including the following: 

"The purpose of these initiatives is to remind the public to pay attention while driving and make the roads safer for everyone," states Sgt. Crystal Heisler. It isn’t uncommon for drivers to disregard the education piece by checking their phone after they clear the area which is why police have a secondary enforcement component to an initiative like this. Unfortunately, some of the drivers just didn’t get the message today."

"Anything that takes your attention away from driving is a distraction," states Kate Woochuk, local ICBC Road Safety and Community Coordinator. "When you’re distracted, you risk not only your own safety – but also the safety of your passengers and of others on the road. We urge drivers to take this issue seriously and make the commitment to stay focused on the road while behind the wheel."

Released by:

Cpl. Julie Klaussner
Media Relations Officer
Ridge Meadows RCMP
11990 Haney Place Maple Ridge, BC V2X 9B8
Office: 604-467-7647

Email: julie.klaussner@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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