(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.

Just Posted

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary outlines its mandate at North Cowichan council meeting

President Beaubier states her case for group’s tireless efforts

Current MP opens Cowichan-Malahat-Langford campaign office

MacGregor vowing to return to Ottawa for another four years

Environment and economy key issues for Liberal’s Cowichan-Malahat-Langford candidate

Herbert campaign focuses on party’s investments in both areas

Roundabout taxing for public purse strings

The need for four a short distance apart seems unfathomable

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read