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These Burnaby drivers are too distracted to notice getting nailed by cops

But you might catch a break if you are on your phone in a fast food lineup.
distracted caught
A distracted driver getting a ticket.

Burnaby RCMP could probably hand out distracted driving tickets all day every day because so many drivers commit this sin.

And the drivers won’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late because they are too busy looking at their phones. Yes, they are too distracted to see themselves getting nailed.

That’s what local police say happens too often, which is why they have now issued a warning about what it will cost.

First, it will cost a $368 ticket.

But it could cost you even more.

“On average, 76 people in B.C. die every year in crashes where distracted driving is a contributing factor,” reads a police statement.

In light of March being Distracted Driving Month for police across B.C., there had been conversations this week on several radio stations involving police and lawyers about the possibility of being hit with the aforementioned fine for using an electronic device while driving through fast food outlets.

It was suggested that using your device in the drive-thru was akin to using it while stopped at traffic lights or at a rail crossing.

But Cpl. Mike Halskov, spokesperson for the BC Highway Patrol (BCHP), said targeted drive-thrus for distracted drivers is absolutely not on officers’ radars.

“While technically possible because one is in the ‘act of driving,’ even when in a drive-thru, our BCHP officers are extremely unlikely to engage in this practice of enforcing the legislation – it violates the spirit and intent of the law,” Halskov told Glacier Media.

Technically, he added, one must be legally parked, not on the roadway, with transmission in “park” to use your electronic device and being stopped in a drive-thru or at a traffic light is still considered "driving."

Halsov said the practice of ticketing people in drive-thrus is “not viewed favourably as an effective means to enforce the legislation and, while I could never profess to speak for the court, I think traffic court judges would frown on this practice for the reason I mentioned.”

A Burnaby woman was, however, ticketed last December for using her phone while driving in a COVID-19 testing line-up.

So it’s probably best if you just avoid your devices while you are in your vehicle unless you are definitely parked.

We’ll all be safer for it.

  • With additional reporting by Alan Campbell