(Twitter/RCMP)

Eating cereal, trimming nose hairs – it’s all illegal while driving

One traffic enforcement officer shares his experiences Distracted Driving Awareness month

Eating cereal, reading a book or petting a dog – Sgt. Lorne Lecker has seen drivers do it all.

The traffic enforcement officer has worked almost 30 years for the RCMP, and now with the Deas Island Traffic Service across the Lower Mainland. September is Distracted Driving Awareness month.

“I once saw a person driving with a baby standing up and leaning on the steering wheel,” Lecker said. That driver was later issued a ticket and child protection services was called.

Just last week, Lecker said he watched a driver brushing their teeth.

He also recently saw a man trimming his nose hairs with cuticle scissors at the wheel. “What if he was to go over a bump?”

Humour aside, Lecker has also seen firsthand the fatal consequences that driving distracted can have.

He was driving along Highway 1 once 20 years ago, behind a driver who was eating yogurt, when the man crashed into a tree. He ended up dying in Lecker’s arms.

“It’s in my mind every day,” he said.

Thousands of tickets issued since then, Lecker said if the only way to stop distracted driving is to hit someone with a hefty fine, then so be it.

“If people can’t realize on their own that driving is one of the most dangerous tasks in their life, and involves your full attention,” he said, “I would rather write a thousand tickets than witness one more fatal collision.”

Distracted driving met with plenty of excuses

When it comes to using your phone or other electronic device, Lecker said he has handed out almost 2,000 tickets for such an offence since the law took effect in 2010. Fines and penalties are now at $368 and four penalty points.

Distracted driving by other means can end much worse for the driver, with a $368 ticket for driving without due care and six penalty points.

Lecker said it’s pretty easy to spot a driver looking down at their phone, but many of them still try to weasel out of the fine.

“It wasn’t a phone, it was a wallet, hairbrush, banana, etc.,” Lecker said he’s heard many times, and even, “’I was just using it to check the time.’”

Some people insist they were only looking during a red light.

“People seem to feel they are doing it safely and for everyone else it’s a risk,” he said. “But driving is a deadly serious business. It needs one’s full attention.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows ball hockey goalie gets call up to Team Canada

Matteo Petrelli will mind net for U20 team at world championships in Switzerland this summer

Maple Ridge’s Brandon Yip to play in KHL all star game in Moscow Sunday morning

Yip currently captains the Kunlun Red Stars who are based in Beijing

The value of a prison education

Kevin Heinze teaches continuing education at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge.

Along the Fraser: RIP Parker (1991-2019)

The Canadian Liver Foundation raises funds by recycling or scrapping old vehicles.

Letter: Allen Way rail crossing proposed in 1980

Pitt Meadows mayor at time wanted it at north Bonson.

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Most Read