Surrey RCMP are stepping up enforcement efforts when it comes to distracted driving, joining a week-long campaign called Operation Hang Up reminding motorists to put down their phones and other electronic devices.
Drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a crash while using their phone.
Operation Hang Up is held in partnership with ICBC, Surrey Crime Prevention Society and the City of Surrey.
The program is a combination of education, awareness and enforcement, according to Cpl. Scotty Shumann, who says, “Drivers will see a large number of high visibility signs placed in locations reminding them to stay off the phone.”
Police and volunteers will be out in force during the awareness and enforcement campaign, he added.
Using a high-powered scope, Surrey RCMP Traffic Service members are able to spot people holding electronic devices long before they’re aware of a police roadside presence.
A driver caught holding an electronic device can be fined $167 and receive three points against their drivers license, along with facing more severe penalties should there be an accident.
“One in four deaths on BC roads involves distracted driving,” ICBC road safety coordinator Karen Klein said. “No call or text is so important that it’s worth risking your life.”