Ridge Meadows RCMP’s Road Safety Target Team conducts a distracted driving campaign on Friday, Mar. 12. (Clint VanBlanken/Special to The News)

Ridge Meadows RCMP’s Road Safety Target Team conducts a distracted driving campaign on Friday, Mar. 12. (Clint VanBlanken/Special to The News)

Almost 20 drivers caught distracted in RCMP blitz

On average, 78 deaths occur every year as a result of distracted driving

People are still driving while distracted.

In fact, in a distracted driving campaign on Friday, Mar. 12, Ridge Meadows RCMP’s Road Safety Target Team, RSTT, caught 18 people using an electronic device while driving downtown Maple Ridge.

“Even short glances away from the road increases your risk of crashing,” said Kate Woochuk, local ICBC road safety coordinator.

“Make sure you have everything you need before hitting the road. Staying focused when you drive should be your top priority. Leave your phone alone,” added Woochuk.

READ MORE: Listening to podcast off phone app while driving not distracted driving, B.C. judge rules

According to statistics released by the RCMP and ICBC, more than 27 percent of all car crash fatalities in the province are related to distracted or inattentive driving.

And on average, 78 deaths occur in B.C. every year as a result of distracted driving. It is now the second leading contributing factor in car crash fatalities.

In addition to using electronic devices, 15 people were caught not wearing a seatbelt, three couldn’t produce a valid drivers license, two did not have a valid “N” displayed on their vehicle and one person was caught with an uninsured vehicle.

READ MORE: RCMP issue two $2,300 COVID fines at same Metro Vancouver vacation rental within 24 hours

“It’s so simple, just leave the phone alone. Imagine how you would feel if you killed someone, or how your family would feel if you died simply because you were looking at your phone while driving,” said Sgt. Glen Roberts with the Ridge Meadows detachment.

“All we want is for people to be safe.”

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Ridge Meadows RCMP’s Road Safety Target Team conducts a distracted driving campaign on Friday, Mar. 12. (Clint VanBlanken/Special to The News)

Ridge Meadows RCMP’s Road Safety Target Team conducts a distracted driving campaign on Friday, Mar. 12. (Clint VanBlanken/Special to The News)

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