An RCMP officer in civilian clothes issued 16 tickets in one day to drivers holding their phones at an intersection. (Citizen file)

Plainclothes Mounties crackdown on distracted drivers at Duncan intersection

The best way to save $578 is to put your phone down.

On March 28 North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP officers and their partners donned civilian clothes, to bust 16 drivers for using their electronic devices while driving.

In addition to two warnings and four other violation tickets, the RCMP and Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement officers handed out 16 violation tickets that carry not just the $368 fine but add four points on your licence, plus a driver penalty premium of $210 for a total of $578 for the first offence.

Distracted drivers are a growing concern for the partners and for ICBC and will remain a priority.

“Throughout the year police utilize several techniques to enforce distracted driving in this community,” said North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP spokesperson Const. Pam Bolton.

“During this operation, a police officer was dressed in civilian clothing and walked amongst vehicles at an intersection. Several drivers were caught with their phone in hand as the police officer watched through the window.”

Authorities were actively cracking down on distracted drivers during their month-long campaign.

“Throughout the month of March, the local police officers wrote over 40 tickets for distracted driving,” Bolton said. “Although the monthly campaign has come to a close, distracted driving still remains a priority. To avoid the steep financial penalties and potential driving prohibitions, it’s best to leave your phone alone and keep your focus on the road.”

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