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

Oceanside RCMP take aim at distracted drivers

Community safety volunteers, ICBC to partner in awareness, enforcement efforts

The Oceanside RCMP is offering the public a friendly reminder that local police will be focusing on distracted drivers this fall.

Driving while distracted remains a major problem and has surpassed impaired driving in causing fatalities, RCMP spokesperson Jesse Foreman said in a news release. Currently, 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, shared by the RCMP:

• 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, eight people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes on Vancouver Island.

The Oceanside Community Safety Volunteers, ICBC and the Oceanside RCMP will be working in partnership to increase awareness and enforce the laws surrounding distracted driving, police announced in the release.

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

— NEWS staff and RCMP release

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