Five on the Fifth – Distracted Driving

Coquitlam:The Coquitlam RCMP are always on the look out for distracted drivers, but this March there will be increased attention as they partner with External link, opens in a new windowICBC for a month long distracted driving campaign, says the Coquitlam RCMP.

“In 2014, the Coquitlam RCMP issued more than 2,200 distracted driving tickets, yet drivers don’t’ seem to be getting the message. Changing habits isn’t easy, we get that,” says the police in Coquitlam. “Our hope is that the following mythbusting facts convinces you to leave your phone alone when behind the wheel. ”

  1. MYTH: Smartphones are the only types of distractions. FACT: Reading a book, watching a movie, pets, programming a GPS, personal grooming and even External link, opens in a new windoweating a sandwich can all be factors that distract a driver’s attention from driving. Anytime a driver is not focused on the road, they are at risk of causing a crash. External link, opens in a new windowTips from ICBC on how to avoid being distracted.
  2. MYTH: I’m a fast texter, so it’s OK to take my eyes off the road for a few seconds: FACT: Did you know that taking your eyes off the road for 4.4 seconds at a speed of 50 km/h is like driving the length of a hockey rink blindfolded. Makes it a little easier to understand why you are more than 23X likely to crash if you are texting while driving.
  3. MYTH: I can’t do anything to stop traffic fatalities. FACT: Fatalities caused by distracted driving are 100 per cent preventable. External link, opens in a new windowBetween 2009-2013 there were an average of 88 deaths per year caused by distracted driving. You can stop preventable fatalities by ignoring your phone. Can’t resist the temptation? Put your phone in the trunk before getting behind the wheel to completely eliminate the temptation to make a call, update Facebook or take a External link, opens in a new window#DrivingSelfie. When you arrive at your destination post your updates with #MadeIt. .
  4. MYTH: It’s ok to text or tweet when I’m stopped at red light or stuck in traffic. FACT: Under the Motor Vehicle Act, you’re still driving when in traffic or at a light, so no, it’s not ok to use a handheld device.
  5.  MYTH: All drivers can use hands-free devices. FACT: Drivers under the Graduated Licensing Program are prohibited from using hands-free devices.

 

Five on the fifth is an occasional series of five lesser known facts about well-known crime and safety issues. Five on the Fifth is compiled and released by the Coquitlam RCMP Communications and Public Affairs Team when the 5th of the month falls on a weekday. Follow #FiveOnTheFifth on Twitter to get the latest updates.