A driver cruising down Blanshard Street during rush hour Tuesday was caught, phone in hand, and now faces over $1,000 in fees and fines after police discovered an expired licence and outstanding fines for impaired driving.
“It was brazen, absolutely,” said Bowen Osoko, VicPD spokesperson, who witnessed the event while returning from a meeting with a fellow officer. “It happens so often.”
The man was issued a $368 ticket for using an electronic device while driving, a $276 fine for driving without a licence and will be penalized four points at a cost of $175. As well, the vehicle was impounded for seven days as a result of the prior infractions.
“It was an expensive day for that person,” Osoko said.
Victoria police launched a pilot program last year to tackle distracted driving and dispel such misconceptions that it’s permissible to use your mobile phone when stopped at a red light.
“Our hope is that people think, ‘what can I do to be prepared to drive and make sure I can get home safely and everyone else can get home safely,'” Osoko said, reiterating that driving should always be the priority when behind the wheel.
“This driver today was observed driving with phone in hand and that’s a high-risk driving behaviour that can result in injuries and deaths.”