New Brunswick

Too many N.B. drivers still using cellphones, say RCMP

Cellphone use behind the wheel is getting worse in New Brunswick says the RCMP, even though fewer people are making phone calls. Instead, they are doing everything else, including texting, taking photos and video, and using social media, all from the driver's seat.

Now motorists are texting, tweeting and shooting video from behind the wheel

RCMP say too many drivers are still using their cellphones, including taking video behind the wheel. (Anonymous on-line video)

Cellphone use behind the wheel is getting worse in New Brunswick says the RCMP, even though fewer people are making phone calls.

Instead, they are doing everything else, including texting, taking photos and video, and using social media, all from the driver's seat.

And, according to Staff Sgt. Gilles Blinn, they are trying to hide it as well.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Gilles Blinn says drivers are trying to hide their phones while texting, which is more dangerous because they are taking their eyes off the road. (CBC)
"Now they got a little more craftier and now they're texting more," said Blinn. "Which is in fact probably more dangerous because now you're taking your eyes off the road and you're looking down at your device that you're texting on."

There are also drivers who are more brazen that that, as you can see on social media.

Videos taken from the driver's vantage point, of everything from weather conditions to bad drivers.

Blinn said it's all against the law when you're behind the wheel.

"What people got to understand is that when you're driving a motor vehicle on the street, even at a red light and it is stopped, it is still illegal," he explained.

Drivers are using their cellphones behind the wheel to capture video and photos of accidents, wildlife and bad weather. (Anonymous on-line video)
There's not much police can do about the driving video posted online, as they need either a police witness or someone from the public seeing someone using their phone while driving.

Blinn believes the real solution, like with drunk-driving, is education.

"Take that extra second to pull over, do your text and continue on," he said. "Or let that phone go to messaging rather than be involved in a collision where someone could potentially die or be seriously injured."

The penalty for distracted driving in New Brunswick is $172.50 and the loss of three points.

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