(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

“Does Kirby care?” Heiltsuk Nation using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

“No excuse” for killing of two young grizzly cubs

Reader hopeful someone will come forward with information

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

No delivery services hard on local families

New parents Candace Knudsen and Bjorn Samuelsen spent five weeks away from home

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read