Number of tickets issued up for distracted drivers

Number of tickets issued up for distracted drivers

People 'not getting the message' about increased risk

When it comes to distracted driving, police say motorists in Surrey are not getting the message.

Statistics released Thursday by Surrey RCMP note the detachment’s officers issued 775 tickets to people caught using electronic devices while driving, up from 677 such tickets in the same month last year.

“Clearly people are not getting the message about the dangers of distracted driving and putting themselves and others at a heightened risk on our roadways,” Cpl Bert Paquet said in a statement.

“Advancements in modern technology have given us the ability to be available almost every second of the day, however, we need to remember that driving is a complex task and we cannot get complacent about staying focused on the road. Our traffic investigators have seen too many traffic fatalities and serious collisions involving distracted driving.”

In the same time period, tickets for driving without due care dropped by more than half, to 23 last month from 48 in February 2012.

Police advise drivers who “absolutely” need to check a message, make a call or re-program their phone to pull over to do so. Simply putting a call on speaker-phone is not enough, and could result in a $167 fine.