Ridge Meadows RCMP is making it clear that there’s no room for distracted or unsafe driving on Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows roads.
On Thursday, members of the Ridge Meadows Road Safety Target Team (RSTT) and Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) flooded the streets of downtown Maple Ridge, armed with cameras and signs.
Cpl. Julie Klaussner explained that these two units combined forces with ICBC and Ridge Meadows Crime Prevention Services to warn drivers of the dangers of distracted driving.
“The Messages in Motion initiative kicks off the start of the province’s Road Safety Campaign for distracted driving and occupant restraint safety this month,” said Klaussner.
RCMP members were specifically on the lookout for drivers using electronic devices or vehicle occupants not wearing seatbelts. In some cases, the volunteers also got a little creative with how they warned drivers.
“The Crime Prevention Services volunteers carried signs with messages of ‘leave the phone alone’ and ‘pay attention to pedestrians’ while they crossed at marked crosswalks along Dewdney Trunk Road,” said Klaussner.
As a result of this campaign, 16 violation tickets were handed out to drivers, which included 12 tickets for use of a cell phone, three for not wearing a seat belt, and one ticket for driving without a license which resulted in the vehicle being towed.
Sgt. Crystal Heisler explained that handing out tickets is a necessary component of this driver safety campaign.
“It isn’t uncommon for drivers to disregard the education piece by checking their phone after they clear the area which is why police have a secondary enforcement component to an initiative like this,” said Heisler.
“Unfortunately, some of the drivers just didn’t get the message today.”
ICBC road safety and community coordinator, Kate Woochuk, added that this campaign is something that helps not just drivers, but everyone on and off the roads.
“When you’re distracted, you risk not only your own safety – but also the safety of your passengers and of others on the road,” said Woochuk. “We urge drivers to take this issue seriously and make the commitment to stay focused on the road while behind the wheel.”
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