A team of 11 officers from Langley RCMP’s traffic section and the Langley-based Fraser Valley Integrated Road Safety Unit set up a series of check-stops throughout Langley on Feb. 10.
Using plainclothes spotters and unmarked police cars, the officers’ net snared dozens of motorists who violated basic rules of the road.
Police issued 200 tickets and 30 written warnings for a number of infractions, the majority of them for failing to wear a seat belt.
Of the 200 motorists ticketed, 85 were not wearing their seat belts; 51 tickets were issued to motorists who were using their cellphones while driving.
Police were shocked at the number of violators they pulled over.
“Shockingly, motorists continue to blatantly disobey a more than three decade old law that is proven to save lives and minimize injuries as a result of collisions,” said Cpl. Holly Marks who speaks for Langley RCMP.
“It’s simple. Make it part of your routine each and every time you enter your vehicle: Keys in the ignition, start vehicle, seatbelt. Check your passengers. The vehicle must not move until everyone is buckled in. In year’s past, approximately one third of all fatalities were the result of seatbelt non-compliance.”
Driving while distracted by cellphones contributes to 45 per cent of vehicle crashes in the Lower Mainland every year, said Marks.
Noting that most cellphone contracts include voicemail, Marks said that “this is a service you already pay for, so why not get your money’s worth. If you are driving, let it go to voicemail.”
Ignoring the law could result in a serious collision, she said, adding that drivers caught breaking the law by using a cellphone or texting as they drive face a $167 fine.
Drivers caught texting or emailing, even when they have stopped at a traffic light or stop sign, may receive three penalty points in addition to the fine.
Marks said that the law allows drivers to use a Bluetooth device as long as it is voice activated or requires only one touch to initiate, accept or end a call.
Learner drivers are not allowed to use this device, Marks added.