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Fort St John RCMP reminds drivers not to use cell phones while driving

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John RCMP is reminding drivers not to use a cell phone while driving.

In a release, Constable Neustaeter, says he has observed a great number of drivers using their cell phones in Fort St. John despite laws prohibiting such actions.

“Since January 2010, B.C. has had laws prohibiting the use of electronic devices while driving, yet as you drive the streets of Fort St John, you will often see drivers still using their cell phone. Sure, some might try to fool you by holding it down and staring down at their crotch while driving, others clearly hold it up to their ear. Some use it as they drive up 100th St or travel down the Alaska Highway or waiting to pick up their coffee in the drive-thru line or even waiting at a red light. There may be some misconceptions about what the law really is.”

The use of an electronic while driving will cost you a $368 fine and four demerit points.

Under the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act the “use,” of an electronic device, is defined as:

  • (a) holding the device in a position in which it may be used;
  • (b) operating one or more of the device’s functions;
  • (c) communicating orally by means of the device with another person or another device;
  • (d) taking another action that is set out in the regulations by means of, with or in relation to an electronic device.

According to ICBC, 27% of fatal crashes in BC were due to distraction. Police across Canada say that distracted driving has caused more collisions than impaired drivers.

In a study done by CAA, Canadians say the number one biggest threat to their personal safety on the road is texting while driving.

Here are some tips to help you not use your electronic device while driving.

  • Don’t use your cell phone while driving unless you are using Bluetooth or other similar devices,
  • If you are expecting a call, give your cell phone to a passenger before you start to drive so they can answer it,
  • Pull over and park, turning off your vehicle if you must to use take a call or send a text,
  • If it is an emotional or complex conversation, pull over and park; even with Bluetooth.

Neustaeter hopes more drivers will choose to be less distracted in 2019.

“Let 2019 be the year you protect yourself and other motorists by saying no to your phone. Set a great example for your children and especially your teen drivers.”

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