A screen grab from a video shows a Surrey RCMP officer approaching a car in a McDonalds drive-thru in Surrey. (Submitted)

B.C. Mountie’s warning to not talk on phone to driver at drive-thru sparks online rage

Police say it was just a ‘quick reminder’ for driver who was on phone before pulling into drive-thru

Surrey Mounties say they are not targeting motorists in fast-food drive-thrus for distracted driving and ticketing them for being on their cell phones.

Nevertheless, social media is abuzz after video surfaced of a Surrey RCMP approaching the driver of a vehicle in a McDonald’s drive-thru.

On May 8, Twitter user @DrDangles87 posted a video of a Mountie walking through a parking lot and up to a vehicle going through the drive-thru. The Twitter user asked if RCMP is “actually out here ticketing people for using their phones at a drive thru.”

“Is this a joke? This is harrassment,” the Tweet reads.

Surrey RCMP responded saying this happened two weeks ago, and the officer “issued a verbal warning to the driver after observing them allegedly using a device while driving prior to entering the drive thru area.”

Police said a ticket was not issued.

The officer, Surrey RCMP said, was in the area “following up on an unrelated investigation.”

“They were not conducting targeted enforcement in the drive-thru.”

Corporal Elenore Sturko told the Now-Leader the incident arose from something “that didn’t have anything to do with the drive-thru.”

She said two officers were in the area investigating something else and were pulling into the McDonald’s parking lot when they saw a motorist, prior to being in the drive-thru, talking on a cell phone.

“The person drove right by them talking on the phone,” she said. “The person was chatting on their phone. They weren’t in there targeting, they just saw a person drive by on their phone.”

Sturko said they told the motorist what they were doing was illegal, as a “quick reminder.”

“It is standard practise for an officer who sees someone committing a dangerous act like talking on a cellphone to engage with members of the public and make the decision at the time whether, based on their discretion what they’ve observed, whether they would issue a ticket or a warning.

“In this case they had observed a person who was in violation of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act by operating an electronic device while driving, and could have received a pretty hefty fine, but instead opted to give that person just a warning,” Sturko said. “Regardless of the fact that it’s a drive-thru or a parking lot, under the Motor Vehicle Act those are considered part of the roadway and still subject to enforcement of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act.”

That said, she added, “I can tell you that officers are not targetting drive-thrus. We are not targeting drive-thrus.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

15-year-old Nanaimo singer who had viral Facebook video releases single

Lauren Spencer-Smith recently appeared on American comedian Steve Harvey’s talk show

Meet Clover the Commonwealth Cat

Feline has made Saanich Commonwealth Place a second home

Column: Rest in peace, customer service

Customer service on the phone is often lacking; online it’s nearly non-existent

Margaret Atwood coming to UVic to discuss ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ sequel

‘The Testaments’ comes 34 years after release of famous novel, now a Hulu series

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

The father and two youngesters fell down a steep and treachorous cliff while hiking on Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Campbell River police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

Most Read