Airdrie RCMP to Use Unmarked Van to Nab Distracted Drivers on Cellphones

RCMP in Airdrie, Alberta, are deploying a new method to help catch distracted drivers using their cellphones behind the wheel.

Similar to methods used by other traffic law enforcement officials across Canada, Airdrie RCMP have announced they will use an unmarked van—with a higher vantage point—to nab those using their cellphones behind the wheel, reports CBC News:

One officer drives the van while another snaps photos of potential offenders, then radios ahead to colleagues, who pull drivers over if needed.

“If we see anything else, seatbelts, or aggressive driving manoeuvres, we’ll obviously deal with those as well,” said Sgt. Darrin Turnbull, with RCMP Traffic Services.

When drivers don’t see any police vehicles around, their bad texting behaviour continues, with Turnbull suggesting driver behaviour to that of children.

“They see the marked police vehicle and they drive good,” says Turnbull, adding “It’s like a child. They’re not going to misbehave when mom or dad is watching. We’ve got to be out there in this type of a situation so we can observe them when they don’t think they’re being watched.”

Airdrie RCMP say the unmarked van will be used this week and on Tuesday alone, police say three semi-trailer drivers were spotted using cellphones while driving 100km/h.

In 2018, Alberta RCMP issued 4,344 distracted driving tickets. According to the RCMP, when distracted driving laws were introduced in September 2011 and to March 31, 2018, 97% of distracted driving tickets were related to using a cellphone while driving.

Supt. Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services, said in a statement, “Traffic safety is a shared responsibility. Distracted driving behaviours increase driver errors and, as a result, the likelihood of collisions. Distracted driving puts your safety and the safety of other road users at risk.”

Using your cellphone while driving is not worth it. Just put the phone down—you’ll survive for 30 minutes without checking Facebook, Instagram or your email.