RCMP initiative sees multiple seat belt infractions

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Two-day enforcement effort

Cpl. Darren Galley of RCMP Northern Traffic Services said an enforcement effort earlier this week resulted in a lot more seat belt infractions than he expected.

AMHERST – A couple of decades after seat belt use became the law, police continue to be amazed at how many people refuse to buckle up.

During a two-day focused enforcement across Cumberland and Colchester counties earlier this week, RCMP Northern Traffic Services charged 46 motorists for failing to wear a seat belt, with 30 of those charges coming during enforcement just outside Amherst on Tuesday.

“I was quite surprised, especially with seat belts and there were a lot of young people,” Cpl. Darren Galley said Thursday. “I’m sitting there in an unmarked vehicle and I’m finding a lot of younger people, who are supposed to be more educated about seat belt use, are not using their seat belts.”

Galley said an unmarked car watched traffic leaving Amherst, while marked cars pulled over vehicles caught by the spotter.  Along with the 30 seat belt infractions, Galley said there were 14 cell phone infractions and a couple of other relating to insurance and drivers licences.

In Colchester, on Wednesday, 16 seat belt infractions were identified along with six cell phone infractions.

Galley said he expected to see a lot of handheld cell phone use because that law is more recent and there are still drivers hesitant to give up the habit. The lack of seat belt use shocked him considering how easy it is to buckle up and how it can save a life in a crash.

“We’re doing this to improve road safety and it’s well known that if you get into some sort of road collision having a seat belt on increases your chances of surviving the crash or preventing major injury,” he said. “The numbers I saw sort of blew me away.”

He was also disappointed with some of the comments directed at officers. Some said they hoped the officers were proud of what they were doing while others suggested officers should spend their time catching criminals.

He said some comments were positive with drivers admitting they made a mistake and supporting the initiative.

Galley said despite the negative comments, officers will continue vigilance because it only takes a moment of distraction for disaster to happen.

He also noticed that some drivers are being distracted by their iPods and suggested the legislation may have to be expanded.

“In my opinion the law has to change in regards to being a distracted driver. As I was watching traffic I saw a number of vehicles go by with the driver looking down at an iPod with their eyes off the road,” he said. “The legislation under the cell phone section doesn’t include an iPod, but the driver is doing the same thing searching for music as dialing a cell phone or searching phone numbers.”

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

 

 

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: AMHERST, Colchester, Cumberland

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  • jamieson
    March 04, 2013 - 08:05

    We all make mistakes each and every day when driving, whether it be a rolling stop, or maybe exceeding the speed limit for a short period of time on certain streets or roads, etc. Occasionally we have the misfortune of having that mistake observed by a police officer and we have to pay a fine and get demerits to remind us of the importance of being vigilant and to drive safely. Seat belts do save lives and just like all the other traffic laws out there, should be respected. I have nothing but the firmest support for police in enforcing these laws and hope that such blitzes occur more frequently as I think the hit to the pocket book is one of the only incentives to make people change their bad habits.

  • fllipx
    March 01, 2013 - 20:25

    Good for the RCMP town police should follow the RCMP in Moncton and set up a bunch of a stings get the fools texting to start off with and bring in a little cash for the town and feel good that you have done somthing might take away the donut wise cracks. Just saying.

  • Doug
    March 01, 2013 - 20:10

    I hate traffic enforcement ..but it saves LIVES ..... They are officers that do investigation as part of there job .. sum do traffic detil regardles if I am charger there is no dought I asked for it ...to be abusive to a officer doing his job to police traffic is unacceptable ..they are human and given a chanc will exzibit sum flexability and discression bur if one pushes the edges of Legality then expect someday you will be cought .. When that day comes think ack to the thousadns times you got away from it by shere luck .. Dont condem an officer for doing his Job . especially a job that is there to save LIVES ...Without traffic officers there would be numerous accidents that would effect people lives much more than a seat belt . Without Law enforcement tan the thret of such imagin the caos .

  • DSG
    March 01, 2013 - 18:10

    The elements of the offence are; using a hand-held cellular telephone or text messaging on a communication device while operating a motor vehicle on a highway.

  • IPod
    March 01, 2013 - 08:34

    I thought the law was not just against cellphones but handheld electronic devices. At least that is how it is in NB.

  • Fuzzy Bear
    March 01, 2013 - 05:30

    "He was also disappointed with some of the comments directed at officers. Some said they hoped the officers were proud of what they were doing while others suggested officers should spend their time catching criminals". I'm shocked, what did he expect? Everyone to say....!! Oh thank you officer for lightening my oh so heavy wallet?I was just wondering where I could get rid of that last little bit of cash that our neglectful government mistakenly left in there!! I realize this is the RCMP and not town police but both are law enforcement officers regardless of distinction. Catch criminals??? Good grief they would have to be downtown on mainstreet somewhere possibly in front of Bella's within a few hundred yards of the current police station and out patrolling sometime after midnite in order to catch any criminals.