Earlier this week I had lunch at Raw Cuts, my favourite little sandwich shop on the Burnaby-New West border. While sitting in the shop and enjoying my lunch I watched the RCMP on the Burnaby side of 10th Ave pulling in drivers who dared to look at their mobile devices while they sat stopped at the red light.
I couldn’t help but notice that while the police were very busy enforcing the distracted driving laws, they paid no attention to the people who ran the red light or made illegal left turns at the corner. As a side note, the fine for distracted driving is now $500.
However, it was also interesting to see that each time the light turned red, at least two cars would sail through the light. I’m not talking about a late yellow light – I’m talking about people in cars, trucks and motorcycles entering the intersection as the light turns red. The police paid no attention to the cars and trucks running the red lights.
However, if you were one of the drivers stopped at the light and you looked down at your mobile phone, you could expect a police officer to pull you into the parking lot and give you a fine for distracted driving.
A really ridiculous thing though, once the drivers crossed the intersection and were moving away from the watchful eyes of the police, the drivers would once again pick up their phones and continue driving while making calls or texting or checking my blog.
It appears that the distracted driving enforcement only focuses on people who are stopped, but not actually driving in their cars.
I’m not sure what the answer is but since I have started carpooling more often, I get to watch people in other cars more closely and I’m just going to say it, people are not getting the message about distracted driving. Many, many people continue to use their phones while driving. The current method of enforcement is clearly not working.