Zero Tolerance for cell phones

Brodie Thomas
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Const. Adam Gardner of the Traffic Services West RCMP Port aux Basques said they are seeing a lot more use of cell phones that is distracting drivers.

Charlene Blackmore, from Port aux Basques, demonstrates along with Const. Gardner of the Traffic Service Unit of the RCMP that this is what will happen if you are caught texting or talking on your cell phone. You will receive a fine and lose points off your licence.

“People are using their cell phones more and more while driving and it is extremely dangerous,” said Const. Gardner. “Your vehicle then becomes a lethal weapon.”

Const. Gardner said it is such a big deal that distractive driving has been added to their mandate. Distractive driving is anything that takes your attention away from driving and cell phones are at the top of the list.

“What we have noticed is since the spring started it has been crazy with the amount of people driving and talking and texting on their cell phones,” he said.

The fine for a first offence is $115 and four points off your licence.

“You only have 12 points on your licence so just getting three tickets for cell phone use will cause you to lose your licence,” he said.

People don’t realize how dangerous it is to be talking or texting on their cell phones while driving.

“If a child runs out in front of your vehicle you have less reaction time,” said Const. Gardner.

Like seatbelts, there is zero tolerance for cell phone usages while driving. They have already given out a lot of fines, said Const. Gardner.

“All it takes is putting your signal light on and pulling over off the road, when it comes to receiving or making a call,” he said. “It could save a life or save you from getting a fine and points off your licence.”

The one good thing that traffic services have noticed is that seat belt compliance has gone up. There are more people wearing their seat belts now, said Const. Gardner.

“This does not mean that we don’t watch for seatbelt violations, there is always that few that still refuses to wear a seatbelt,” he said.

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  • john
    June 29, 2012 - 05:33

    Further to my comment with regards to people not going any distance without talking or texting on their cell phones because they're afraid to miss the latest gossip in town or a call for coffe at tim's I do realize this is not true of all people because there are those few like RCMP, doctors and nurses as well as parents who need to have a cell phone for work related purposes or to keep in touch with children, but its seems the majority use it for the purposes of getting the lastest goissip in town or a coffee run to tims.

  • Anonymous Citizen
    June 26, 2012 - 13:44

    It is nuts how much I see of this in Port aux Basques. Shouldn't be this way for such a small town. I can't drive from my house to the store at any time on any day and not see this. This is something that the police should be focusing on more and anyone who gets a ticket deserves it. Suck it up, pay your fine, learn your lesson, and move on! Good job to others in the town for the seatbelt usage though! I know I always wear mine.

    • john
      June 26, 2012 - 22:08

      I'm glad to see the RCMP are beginning to crack down more on this dangerous form of driving. I honestly think people are afraid to go any distance without talking or texting on their cell phone because they're afraid they'll miss the latest gossip in town or a call for coffee at tim's