The local St. John therapy dogs have been used on a regular basis at Ridge Meadows Hospital in the emergency ward

RCMP joins up with St. John therapy dogs

Ridge Meadows RCMP have partnered with St. John Therapy Dogs to assist citizens who have experienced a traumatic event.

Ridge Meadows RCMP have partnered with St. John Therapy Dogs.

This gives local police and victim services another referral agency to assist citizens who have experienced a traumatic event.

The local St. John therapy dogs have been used on a regular basis at Ridge Meadows Hospital in the emergency ward, as well as seniors homes and care facilities, the Caring Place, and a new program being introduced in the Pitt Meadows library called ‘Reading Tails’.

These trained dogs have calmed people when they’ve been presented with a possible life-changing event, such as a death in their immediate family.

“Having the St. John therapy dog program as a referral agency is a good partnership,” said Insp. David Fleugel. “Anytime we can offer a service that will assist our citizens, the RCMP is always interested.  We are very pleased to announce them as one of our community partners.”

• For more information on the therapy dog program, visit www.sja.ca/bc.

Distracted driving month

Police across B.C. will be targeting drivers who continue to text while behind the wheel this month.

Reducing fatalities and serious injuries is the No. 1 priority for RCMP, but statistics for 2012 indicate that drivers are not heeding the ban against the use of handheld electronic devices.

Since the ban came into force in January 2010, police in British Columbia issued 105,972 violation tickets for use of handheld electronic devices.

Preliminary statistics for 2012 show that distracted driving was a factor in 30 per cent of motor vehicle fatalities and 37 per cent of motor vehicle accidents that resulted in serious injuries.

“Holding a cell phone in your hand on speaker phone is an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act and could result in a fine of $167,” said Cpl. Robert McDonald, of B.C. RCMP Traffic Services.

“This also applies to leaving the cell phone on your console and typing while stopped in traffic.”

A hands-free device is a device that is mounted to your vehicle or secured on your person and is operated by one touch, he added.

Graduated License Program drivers (L and N drivers) are not permitted any use of electronic devices, including hands free devices.

Through February, police will also be looking for other violations including speeding, unsafe lane changes, following too close, fail to obey traffic control device will trigger the increased penalty.

The fine for driving without due care and attention under the Motor Vehicle Act is $368.

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