British Columbia

Distracted driver with 14 infractions banned from driving

A Lower Mainland woman who racked up 14 distracted driving infractions is now off the road

Chronically distracted driver almost hit a police officer on one occasion

A woman who racked up 14 distracted driving infractions is now off the road. (Twitter/@RichmondRCMP)

A Vancouver-area woman who racked up 14 distracted driving tickets in five years for using her cellphone behind the wheel is now prohibited from driving in B.C.

Richmond RCMP tweeted the update on Tuesday, about three weeks after the woman made headlines for racking up offence number 12 in Richmond — and then, within days, adding offences 13 and 14 to the tally.

In one of the incidents the woman was so distracted by her cellphone she almost hit a Richmond police officer.

When the last infraction was recorded in Vancouver, police vowed to seek a driving prohibition.

Cpl. Dennis Hwang with the Richmond RCMP told CBC News a detailed report about the driver was submitted to RoadSafetyBC, which is the body that handed out the driving prohibition.

Hwang says that because of privacy concerns the name of the driver and the length of the driving ban cannot be made public.

"Our message to everyone is #LeaveYourPhoneAlone," wrote Hwang in an emailed statement. "One simple phone call, text message, or checking social media can mean a momentary lapse of attention. That loss of attention can have serious or lifelong repercussions."

Texting is a prime cause of distracted driving. (CBC)

In March of this year Richmond RCMP issued 347 distracted driving tickets, a 234 per cent increase over the 148 tickets issued in March 2015.

According to one expert, distracted driving, especially texting while driving, will become the largest cause of youth driver deaths in Canada in the not too distant future, overtaking impaired driving and speeding.

​With files from Karin Larsen