By North Vancouver RCMP, Newsroom.
North Vancouver RCMP and ICBC are continuing their positive ticketing campaign this week, aiming to reach high school students during their commute to and from school. "We're going to surprise some of them, I think," said Sgt. Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP. "Usually, when a police officer walks up to your car, you expect something negative, like getting a ticket," he said. "But with this campaign the tickets we're giving are all positive, and they're for doing the right things like wearing a seatbelt or using a turn signal."
The tickets, which are part of an ongoing partnership the RCMP has with ICBC and the North Vancouver School District to make North Van roads safer, aren’t just a token. Teens who are observed following the rules of the road, or making safe choices about phones and driving, will receive coupons for free slushies, ice cream cones, and other treats.
The initiative is aimed at reinforcing positive behaviours as part of the Detachment’s effort to improve road safety for students travelling to and from school.
"Do you have your "N" sign up? We'll give you a positive ticket for that," said Sgt. DeVries. "Have you made sure your phone is out of reach? You get a positive ticket. One of our top priorities in North Vancouver is to continue to ensure our roads are safe for everyone," said Sgt. DeVries. "New drivers are still learning to manage the many skills required to be a safe and careful driver, and we want to reinforce the good habits they're starting to develop."
School parking lots offer a ready-made opportunity to meet novice drivers, he said. "Most students driving to high school are going to be new or learner drivers," said DeVries. "If we can grab their attention, do something a little unexpected and fun, we hope it will create a lasting impression."
Did you know?
If you have a Learner's (L) or Novice (N) licence, you aren't allowed to use any electronic devices (like an iPod or GPS) behind the wheel, for any purpose, even in hands-free mode (except to call 9-1-1).
Here are some simple tips for new drivers to prevent distracted driving:
- Leave the phone alone, even at a red light. so important it's worth risking your life or the lives of others.
- Let calls go to voicemail and ignore your text messages while driving.
- Turn your phone to silent and keep it out of reach and out of sight, or turn on "Do Not Disturb While Driving" features.
- Assign a designated texter. Ask your passengers to make or receive calls and texts for you.
- Know the laws on distracted driving, and follow them.
Positive tickets have the added benefit of fostering positive relationships with the police, said DeVries. "We want to build positive relationships with young people because we know it helps reduce the likelihood of negative behaviours in adulthood."
Did you know?
- *Unsafe choices associated with driving and being a passenger in a vehicle remain the top risks to the lives and health of youth
- *On average, 28 youths, ages 16 to 21, are killed in crashes every year in B.C.
- *On average, ten youths are killed in crashes every year in the Lower Mainland
* Statistics from ICBC