Police will team with local Community Safety Volunteers and ICBC this month on a campaign to combat distracted driving. — Photo submitted by Oceanside RCMP

Oceanside RCMP crack down on distracted driving

Campaign partners with ICBC, community safety volunteers

Having designated March as Distracted Driving Awareness month, Oceanside RCMP are reminding motorists that local police are focusing on distracted drivers this spring.

ICBC and the RCMP are partnering through education and enforcement, emphasizing distracted driving remains a major problem and has surpassed impaired driving in causing fatalities. According to ICBC statistics, a driver is five times more likely to crash if using a hand-held phone.

ICBC has provided the following statistics in relation to distracted driving:

• Distracted driving is responsible for more than one quarter of all car crash fatalities in B.C.;

• Distracted driving is the second-leading contributor of car crash fatalities in B.C. and results in 78 deaths each year, on average;

• Distracted driving has moved ahead of impaired driving-related fatal crashes: on average, 89 deaths occur in speed-related crashes, and 66 in impaired-related crashes; and

• Every year, on average, nine people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes on Vancouver Island.

The Oceanside Community Safety Volunteers, ICBC and Oceanside RCMP will be working in partnership to increase awareness and enforce the laws surrounding distracted driving, RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman stated in a written release.

“Please, take a break from your phone,” Foreman said. “No call or text is so important it’s worth risking your life.”

— NEWS staff/RCMP release

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