Const. Alex Bérubé, media relations officer with the West Shore RCMP, says he has encountered a wide-range of unusual incidents where people have been driving while distracted. (Shutterstock)

Const. Alex Bérubé, media relations officer with the West Shore RCMP, says he has encountered a wide-range of unusual incidents where people have been driving while distracted. (Shutterstock)

Bowls of cereal to bra removals: RCMP share B.C. drivers’ bizarre distractions

Shaving and applying makeup among the infractions where police have caught drivers in the act

In today’s world, it’s become alarmingly easy for our attention to steer away from the road while driving.

Const. Alex Berube, an RCMP media relations officer with Greater Victoria’s West Shore detachment, says he has encountered a wide-range of unusual incidents where people have been driving while distracted.

“We see, more often than you would think, people eating full-on meals, lunch or breakfast, with cutlery and everything,” laughed Berube. “It’s scary because you will see them steering with their knee, holding a cereal bowl in one hand and a spoon in the other.”

On March 15, West Shore RCMP tweeted that they stopped a vehicle that was reportedly being driven erratically on Sooke Road, and the driver explained it was because she was removing her bra.

“This is distracted driving too!” the tweet said.

RELATED: Loose pets in the car can cost $109 fine, says Saanich cop, plus ICBC points

Saanich Police also recently notified the public that having pets, objects and passengers obstruct a driver’s view out the front or side windows is considered a distraction.

Having a large dog in the passenger seat blocking the window could lead to a ticket for driving while the view is obstructed – an infraction that brings a $109 fine and three penalty points, said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich Police Department. A driver trying to control a pet running around in the vehicle may receive a $368 ticket for driving without due care and attention.

Berube says he’s been an officer long enough that nothing surprises him anymore. He has often witnessed men shaving their faces, women doing their makeup, and people reading books while driving.

“It’s not just a brochure or a magazine either, it’s been full-on novels,” said Berube. “That book must be incredibly captivating to be reading it while behind the wheel.”

READ ALSO: Driver on take-out food run caught going 67 km/h over limit in front of Saanich police headquarters

Though life is busy and people are often in a hurry, Berube warns of the risk and serious consequences of distracted driving. A fine for a first-time offence of distracted driving starts at $368, along with four points off your licence at a cost of $210 to ICBC. For the next offence, the cost of the penalty rises.

The most common reason for people taking their eyes off the road is due to cellphones, Berube said, as police catch people scrolling behind the wheel daily.

Aside from keeping your eyes on the road, other safe driving tips Bérubé reminds the public of is to keep a safe distance between other vehicles, use caution when reversing, use your signals when changing lanes and turning, try to stay visible and out of other drivers’ blind spots, and obey signs and signals.

“The road rage is something we see a lot as well, and it’s important to recognize that every driver makes a mistake from time to time, it’s human nature,” said Berube. “We have to take a deep breath and not let situations escalate, otherwise our heart rate rises, vision narrows, and it makes driving dangerous.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

-With files from Devon Bidal


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Westshore RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health staff prepare for the reopening of Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta on April 15, 2021. (Fraser Health photo)
Delta hospice at centre of MAiD fight to reopen Thursday

Fraser Health will reopen all 10 beds at the facility on April 15

Surrey-raised Tetsuro Shigematsu wrote and stars in “1 Hour Photo,” a Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s production to be presented online by Surrey Civic Theatres on April 23-24. (submitted photo/Raymond Shum)
‘This Japanese kid who grew up in Whalley’ thrilled to return with acclaimed ‘1 Hour Photo’

City’s Digital Stage to show Tetsuro Shigematsu’s solo portrait of Mas Yamamoto

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including South Surrey’s Pacific Highway should ‘not be left behind’

Fish processing workers fillet farm-raised salmon in Surrey B.C. Photo courtesy BCSFA
Discovery Islands salmon farm removal impacts jobs in B.C.’s Lower Mainland: report

The City of Surrey is the hub of the salmon farming industry in Metro Vancouver

Surrey School District building. (File photo)
‘We’re in a financial lockdown’: Surrey school district working with $40M budget deficit

District, board points to lack of immigration for new student enrolment

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Most Read