On September 16, 2014 at 11:00 am, Campbell River RCMP Municipal Traffic Section partnered up with North Island Traffic Services and conducted a road check at Petersen Road and 16th Avenue.  17 seatbelt violation tickets were issued at $167 each, 2 drive while distracted using an electronic device while driving at $167 each and 3 notice and orders to repair defective vehicles were issued.  This road check was conducted over a one and a half hour period so the numbers of drivers and occupants without seatbelts was quite high.  As for distracted drivers, the two violation tickets were issued to people who obviously were distracted enough to still be using their device while approaching the road check.  

One driver thought that since they had their cell phone on blue tooth, they were exempt, yet they were holding onto the cell phone and speaking into it.  If your cell phone is on hands free, then it should be just that, hands free.  If you are holding onto your cell phone, then you are considered using an electronic device and there really is no difference between having that cell phone up to your ear or holding it in front of you utilizing the speaker phone.  We are finding many contractors are guilty of this, because they are trying to conduct business on the road, going from job to job.  We understand this is how you make your livelihood, however please invest the money into a blue tooth system in your vehicle where you can speak commands and dial people or answer the phone without using your hands. It is worth it, for your safety and the safety of others.  And those who are texting, it is quite obvious to others around you when you are looking down at your lap or your steering wheel as we sit behind you at a green light that you are completely unaware you should be proceeding through.

Texting while driving causes the driver to take their eyes off the road and that is never worth it.  Pull over to the side of the road if you must answer that text message or phone call.  Roadways are very dynamic environments with situations and circumstances that can change quickly. By taking your eyes off of the road for even a moment you increase the chance of a collision or accident.

– Contributed by the Campbell River RCMP.