OK, Whatcom County — time to insert your best joke about Canadian drivers here.
Well, at least this happened north of the border: A Vancouver, B.C., driver received two separate distracted driving tickets within seven minutes of each other, according to post on Twitter by the New Westminster Police Department.
Must have been a REALLY important call or text.
According to a story about the infractions on ctvnews.ca Thursday, the 22-year-old male was driving a Dodge Journey and was pulled over and cited at 12:20 p.m. Tuesday for using an electronic device while driving.
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Enough to make most of us put the phone in our pocket, right?
Well just a few kilometers away, he was nabbed a second time at 12:27 p.m. The tickets were written by different officers.
The total combined fine for the two tickets was $736, plus an eight-point penalty on his license. That's not counting the $520 that likely will be added to his Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) annual insurance bill, according to the CTV story, nor the $740 increase he'll likely receive after qualifying for the Driver Risk Premium applied to anyone caught driving distracted twice in a three-period, bringing his total cost for the seven-minute period to nearly $2,000.
ICBC says that distracted driving is responsible for 28 percent of all car crash fatalities in British Columbia, or about 78 deaths annually. Its studies have also found that drivers who are talking on a cellphone lose about 50 percent of what is going on around them and are five times more likely to crash.
As of Jan. 23, the grace period for Washington state's new distracted driving law ended and law enforcement agencies statewide began issuing tickets. A first offense brings a $136 fine, and a second within five years is $234.
Washington State Patrol spokesman James Prouty told the Yakima Herald troopers statewide made 1,677 E-DUI stops in January and issued 878 citations.