Officers nab drivers chatting on cell phones

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By staff

The Fort St. John RCMP detachment is cracking down on people who drive while using their cell phones.

In a statement released on Thursday, the RCMP report that 50 people have already been caught violating the new legislation, which came into effect January 1st, with a one-month grace period.

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In February, North Peace Traffic Services set up a speed watch on Highway 97 near Charlie Lake. Over the course of two hours, 600 vehicles travelled the highway, three per cent of which had drivers talking on their cell phones.

The RCMP would like to remind the travelling public that talking or texting while driving is illegal. A hands-free device is required for drivers who want to chat while driving.

However, new drivers who fall under the ‘N’ or ‘L’ categories of a class 7 license, are not permitted to use any electronic device, even if the device is hands-free.

A driver caught talking on a hand-held phone or electronic device faces a fine of $167.

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