New Brunswick

Fredericton police issue 21 distracted driving tickets in blitz

The Fredericton police issued 21 tickets for distracted driving earlier this week during a blitz that targeted drivers who failed to get off their smartphones while they were behind the wheel.

Const. Steven Cliff says drivers always come up with an excuse about why they had to be on their phone

The Fredericton police issued 21 tickets in about four hours for drivers who were using their phones while behind the wheel.

The Fredericton police issued 21 tickets for distracted driving earlier this week during a blitz that targeted drivers who failed to get off their smartphones while they were behind the wheel.

Const. Steven Cliff said the blitz lasted four hours as officers from the city police force's traffic services unit visited different intersections.

Cliff said a spotter would be in plain clothes and would identify people who were breaking the law and then radio ahead the licence plate number and vehicle description.

The constable said the other officers would then pull over the driver and hand them a $172.50 ticket.

Cliff said the large number of tickets handed in a short period of time shows that people still do not think they need to keep their hands off their phones while they are driving.

"It's alarming sometimes as traffic officers out there see the amount of people who are still not getting the message," he said.

Constable Steven Cliff, member of the Traffic Safety Section with the Fredericton Police. 9:07

The police officer said they spotted more than 21 drivers breaking the law but there were times where they already had cars pulled over and they could not flag down the other offending drivers.

When the drivers are pulled over, Cliff said most drivers understand that they were breaking the law but try to rationalize their decisions.

Fredericton police officers are seen in a previous traffic safety blitz pulling over drivers in the city. (CBC)
He said the most common excuses are that it was an important call or they needed to check on their children. Cliff said drivers have the choice to pull over to take the call instead of continuing to drive.

"I think a lot of people who are ignoring that [law] … they are not just taking the chances of getting a ticket, but they are taking the chances of getting in an accident and hurting other people," he said.

"I think a lot of times they are not taking into account why this law come into effect."

Along with the fine, drivers also lose three demerit points from their licence.


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