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‘Operation Hang Up’ reminds drivers to leave their devices alone while driving

On Thursday (Sept. 29), Surrey RCMP and Police were looking for distracted drivers
Surrey Police and RCMP were on the lookout for people on their phones while driving. (Photo: Anna Burns)

On Thursday (Sept. 29), the Surrey RCMP and the Surrey Police service joined forces with ICBC for “Operation Hang Up.”

This campaign reminds drivers to leave their phones alone while driving. Surrey RCMP and Surrey police service were at Highway 10 and 152 Street looking for drivers who were on their phones. Anyone caught was issued a ticket. Cell watch volunteers were also reminding drivers to leave their phones alone.

Karen Klien, a road safety co-ordinator for ICBC, said when you use your phone while driving, “you lose about 50 per cent of what’s going on around you, and you’re actually five times more likely to be involved in a car crash. So it’s pretty risky behaviour.”

A ticket for distracted driving is $368 plus four penalty points to your driving record.

A new Ipsos survey has found more British Columbians are using their phones while driving than in previous years.

Of those surveyed, 43 per cent of drivers admit to using their phone at least once out of every 10 trips — up from 33 per cent in 2019.

READ MORE: ICBC says 43% of drivers admit to using their phone while driving

Klien’s message to drivers is to remove the temptation. Put your phone in the trunk. Ask a passenger to respond to your text.

According to ICBC, distracted driving is the second leading cause of car crashes in the province. The number of people that have died from distracted driving is also slowly creeping up.

-With files from Black Press Media Staff

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