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8 drivers ticketed for distracted driving during Oak Bay Avenue afternoon blitz

Officers also fine 7 speeders near the University of Victoria

Oak Bay police on a distracted driving blitz ticketed eight cell phone users in an hour Friday afternoon.

The department hit Oak Bay Avenue on March 18, followed by a stint near the University of Victoria where officers issued seven speeding tickets.

Each March, ICBC focuses on distracted driving, which their statistics show is responsible for 27 per cent of vehicle crash fatalities in B.C. with an average of 76 people dying every year. On Vancouver Island nine people die on average in a year.

READ ALSO: Enforcement of distracted driving dialled up on Saanich Peninsula

There are many types of distracted driving, but among the most common is the use of electronic devices such as cell phones. Oak Bay police handed out the eight tickets near Oak Bay Avenue at Foul Bay Road.

About 42 per cent of B.C. drivers admit to still using their phone while driving at least 10 per cent of the time, according to a January survey.

The survey conducted by Ipsos for ICBC, also found 93 per cent of respondents recognized the risk associated with texting behind the wheel. Texting and driving has been illegal in B.C. since 2010.

The penalty for a distracted driving ticket is $368 and four penalty points on the person’s driving record. Drivers with L or N designations are not allowed to use any personal electronic devices, even with a hands-free system.

RELATED: 42% of B.C. drivers are still texting behind the wheel, 12 years into the law taking effect

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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