Acting Cpl. Hayden Willems of the Langley RCMP traffic section lines up a long-range scope the detachment uses to catch distracted drivers. (Langley Advance Times file)

A Langley police check finds 17 distracted drivers in two hours

Using phones on the road is a leading cause of fatal crashes

In just two hours, police caught 17 drivers using their cellphones in Langley.

Officers with the Lower Mainland District Integrated Road Safety Unit (LMD IRSU) and Transit Police set up on 200 Street near Willowbrook Drive on Thursday, March 12th.

A few blocks up, Langley Cell Watch volunteers were deployed at 200 St. and 66 Ave. with signage that reminded drivers to stay off their hand-held device while driving.

Many didn’t get the message.

In addition to 17 tickets for using cell phones, police also issued one ticket for driving without insurance, four for failing to wear seatbelts, and three for having tinted windows.

For the distracted drivers, it was an expensive mistake to make, $620 ($368 fine plus $252 for 4 penalty points).

READ ALSO: One driver every five minutes is distracted: estimate

ICBC spokesperson Leanne Cassap said distracted driving is the second leading cause of traffic fatalities in B.C., behind speed.

“Using hand-held personal electronic devices, like cell phones, is against the law in B.C. whenever you are in care and control of a vehicle. This includes when you are stopped at a traffic light or in heavy traffic.”

READ ALSO: B.C. activating speeding cameras at Langley intersection

Since 2014, more than one in four fatal crashes on B.C. roads have involved driver distraction.

Studies show motorists are five times more likely to crash using a hand-held phone while driving.

Tips for pedestrians and cyclists:

· Pedestrians: when you approach an intersection, pay attention to what’s happening around you. Remove your headphones and put away your cellphone so you can see, hear and respond to keep yourself safe.

· Cyclists: avoid distractions and never assume drivers see you. Don’t use headphones or electronic devices so you can see, hear and respond to the unexpected and keep yourself safe.

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