The Vancouver Police Department issued a written statement last week announcing that its deputy chief was fined $167 for causing a fender-bender in South Surrey while making a cellphone call from his vehicle in January.
In response to media inquiries about the crash, the VPD said Warren Lemcke was driving home heading south along Highway 99 near the 32 Avenue exit on Jan. 4, when he decided to make what was described as a “work-related” phone call.
The VPD said that while Lemcke was looking down at his phone, traffic came to a sudden stop, and he rear-ended the vehicle in front of him.
No one was hurt in the collision, but Lemcke’s police car had to be towed because of damage to the front end.
The couple in the other vehicle was able to drive away from the scene.
Officers on the scene issued the senior Vancouver cop a ticket for driving without due care and attention.
In the written statement, Lemcke said he takes full responsibility for the crash.
“There’s no excuse for a mistake like this and I urge other drivers to keep their attention fully focused on the road ahead,” the deputy chief said.
“The consequences of inattention can be very significant.”
B.C.’s distracted driving ban on using handheld phones took effect two years ago, but the law specifically exempts police, fire and ambulance personnel who need to make calls in the line of duty.