City police nab 16 drivers using mobile devices

Wayne Thibodeau
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Charlottetown Police Service has charged and convicted nearly 100 people this year to date under the legislation

Charlottetown police have charged and convicted nearly 100 people this year to date using hand-held devices while driving

Charlottetown police promised a crackdown on using hand-held devices while driving and over the weekend they delivered.

Police charged 11 people for either talking or texting while driving over the weekend and another five on Monday.

Those 16 drivers were handed a $250 fine and a $20 victim’s surcharge. They will also be handed three demerit points.

Charlottetown Deputy Police Chief Gary McGuigan says most people support the ban but don’t believe it applies to them.

“People are just not getting the message,” McGuigan said.

Last week, Charlottetown Police Service warned drivers that it would be conducting an enforcement blitz on the illegal use of hand-held devices in the city of Charlottetown.

Charlottetown Deputy Police Chief Gary McGuigan says most people support the ban but don’t believe it applies to them.

Still, McGuigan said 16 people were caught.

He said that the police department is also dealing with an increased number of accidents related to local people being distracted by talking or texting while driving.

“There have been accidents caused by talking and texting while driving. That’s a fact.”

Charlottetown Police Service has charged and convicted nearly 100 people this year to date under the legislation.

McGuigan said the enforcement blitz would continue.

He said that might also include more ‘covert’ operations.

In some jurisdictions in the Maritimes, police will dress in costume to observe people’s habits while driving.

Organizations: Charlottetown Police Service

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Charlottetown.Still

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Recent comments

  • Captain Canuck
    July 25, 2012 - 13:51

    I cannot believe how stupid people are. Cellphones are not the problem. Bad driving is. If people weren't dangerous driving anyway then cellphones would not be an issue. It is many times more dangerous to pull over to use a phone than to use it while driving... unless of course as mentioned earlier - people are dangerous anyway. I do not use a cellphone while driving, but it is because I don't need to, not because I can't safely do so and CERTAINLY NOT because it is illegal.

  • Donnie
    July 24, 2012 - 16:51

    I applaud the efforts to get distracted drivers off the roads. 16 is a good start. In defence of law enforcement; so you don't mind them carrying full capacity firearm magazines, using fully automatic weapons, extra capacity riot shotguns, wearing bullet resistant vests, driving at high rates of speed, having pepper spray, using tracers, being allowed to use stun gernades, using tear gas, using sniper rifles, carrying a folding baton, or using riot gear, but you draw the line when they start being equipped with cell phones? Um, news flash, they are allowed to use/do all of the above in performance of their duties including the use of cell phones. If they're in an area where the radio doesn't work, do you really want them pulling over when they get an emergency call from dispatch on the cell phones that they are provided with to perform their duty of protecting the general public? Also, I don't care if they don't use their signals and do "rolling" stops, because I've grown to expect it from 90% of Island drivers anyways. In fact, if they want to catch more drunk drivers, they should pull over the "suspicious" ones that are obeying the stop signs and using their signals after 12AM at night....

  • YourNeighbourhoodWatch
    July 24, 2012 - 16:25

    Looks like we can all go back to using our cellphones while driving (no, I don't) now that the 'blitz' is over. This city is so underpoliced, I'm shocked we all haven't descended into chaos.

    July 24, 2012 - 14:58

    The provincial and city debts could be paid of if the city police forces and the RCMP set up a force solely dedicated to traffic enforcement.

  • Stripes
    July 24, 2012 - 14:11

    I see the dangers of cell phone use daily, but I find it frustrating watching the City Police wait in line for their coffee each day below the sign of NO WAITING on Nassau St. Watch them turn the lights on and off to go through a red light, roll a stop sign, never use signal lights, or better yet watch them text and talk on THEIR cell phones as well. What should be good for the public MUST be practiced by OUR law enforcement TOO!! This should be enforced and practiced by our LAW ENFORCEMENT as well......

  • Hurt by driver on cell phone
    July 24, 2012 - 13:21

    I was rearended 9 yrs ago by a young girl talking on her cellphone. I often wonder if she have any idea what she has done to my life , I can,t work anymore and most of the time i,m in pain. Please people nothing is that important that you can,t wait to pull off the road to use your phone. I have accepted that my life has changed and this is how it,s going to be. i will not get any better. maybe they should have to see the people they injured .

  • Oh dear
    July 24, 2012 - 13:00

    Take a drive through Rustico and Cavendish! Saw quite a few there talking on phone while driving. Even a tiny frail looking man driving a huge RV using 1 hand and the other on the phone.Scary.

  • Charlottetown citizen
    July 24, 2012 - 11:07

    16 is a start - they could have caught 16 on their way to work this morning - all ages, all sizes, all makes - seem to think a text or mobile phone call is much more important than the cars and pedestrians who have to be double vigilant. I totally agree with the others who have expressed concern about our police force using cell phones - man, I have seen this so many times. Please lead by example...... and continue to charge these people, and maybe if the citizens started calling the police station to report the police (get the plate #...) they will get the message as well.

    • Moncton Citizen
      July 24, 2012 - 11:48

      The police in Charlottetown do what the Moncton police do. They dressup in regular clothing and go to a gas station and pretend they are cleaning windshilds and call to the police car just ahead of the traffic and tell them witch car to stop for text and on their phones. They catch them

    July 24, 2012 - 10:56

    To NOSEY, it breaks down like this ... NOT ALWAYS BUT 9 TIMES OUT OF 10 ... If it's someone in a big ass truck driving like they own the road with their arrogant & aggressive attitude mumbling into a phone blind to the world around them running a LATE red light ... it's a guy. If it's a compact car with a lead foot behind the wheel,tailgating, never using a signal to change lanes,usually wearing those so out-of-date white sunglasses that were cool (not really) for 15 minutes 3 years ago,the whole time looking at their lap texting ... it's a female.

  • IslanderAnne
    July 24, 2012 - 10:40

    Keep it up~ it's only going to continue if there are no consequences~ I say FINE THEM ALL~I am so sick of seeing every other car's driver with their head down and hands not on the wheel because they are too busy texting... 8/10 drivers heading over Hillsborough bridge from the traffic light at the intersection is either on the phone or not looking out the window because they're too busy trying to manipulate their keypad on the way home at the end of the day. Not going to need that loaf of bread or carton of milk if it continues.... Unfortunately... the law should have come into place from the get go... the phasing in of the ban only served to accustom people to using their phones in the car.

    • whataday
      July 24, 2012 - 11:42

      I agree with you here. I think it comes down to just being really conscious about your priorities. Some people are really addicted to their phones and can't miss one message or call or text, or they can't wait just five minutes to check it. We live in an impatient society. I know some people's careers make it really difficult to "get away", or there is pressure to be nearby your phone all the time. I lived that. And my point I guess, is that for some, it is a habit or an addiction that is hard to break, and takes time to change. But those people need to figure it out sooner rather than later or else as you say, there won't be a need to run out and get that carton of milk.

  • whataday
    July 24, 2012 - 10:25

    I have no issue with police enforcing this bylaw. I made it my new year's resolution to stop checking my phone while in the car. I've slipped a few times, but then I remind myself that there is absolutely nothing going on in my life that is so important that it couldn't wait until I get to my next destination. When you hear the phone beep that you have an incoming text message or an email, it's like a trigger and you think you immediately have to see who it is and what they want. So I keep my phone in my purse on the passenger floor now when I'm driving. While checking text messages was my vice, I'm always surprised at how many people are still taking calls while behind the wheel. Not even using a handheld, but rather driving around town with their phone to their ear. Do you think people can't see you?! I understand it can be really hard to break a habit and I think for some people the dangers of any distractions while driving (eating, putting on makeup, reading, dogs on your lap) just hasn't registered the same way it has for others. That's why I support a large fine and points deducted. Let's face it - getting a fine isn't the worst case scenario here folks. Points come back, lives don't.

  • Sylvia
    July 24, 2012 - 10:24

    My husband has a cellphone but I don't call him unless I absolutely have to. When I do, he doesn't answer if he's in traffic and then he pulls over to side of road before answering. I wait if he doesn't answer, try again, and by that time he's off highway. It's just a matter of using common sense.

  • LA
    July 24, 2012 - 09:52

    Everybody thinks they're special. I hope they do continue it. It's always some clueless dame yakking away about something so important it overranks my car and my existence.

    • Micheal
      July 24, 2012 - 11:15

      While I DO agree with "Crackdown Not the Word " OPINION-COMMENT, let's give CPD Officers the benefit of the doubt and that CPD Officers will continue to keep Charging Texters & People gabbing on their Cell Phones BECAUSE They Are Dangerous to Everyone & thing on Our roads, City Streets. >>> INEPT is too polite, call a spade a spade. I've often wondered about the quality of Holland College's Police Academy, the quality of the Instructers and the Program in general, where most of CPD Cops are graduated from. Also the quality of CPD'S management. Both IMO could stand much imptovement. Catching 16 Breaking The Law is a decent start, common sense dictates CPD continues everyday. It's a 'cash cow' for The City, the Province and the Cops who don't want, to lazy to, to ignorant to write up Reports they need to be fired - replaced by competant men & women who know how & trained to respect & uphold The Law treating Everyone EQUALLY.

  • wes the cat
    July 24, 2012 - 09:47

    police will dress in costume to observe people’s habits while driving, anyone ever drive behind chtown city police and observe there driving habits, people watch there driving habits , never use signal lights, always ,rolling stops its a joke. they had a speed trap set up on the bypass last week when i was going thru the other way one of the police cars pulled out in such a hurry to catch the speeder he near got creamed by another driver. police officer develops something like "tunnel vision when sometime going after cars that was a close call on the by pass last week , i am not knocking th epolice they do a great job , but lead from example

  • Julie campbell
    July 24, 2012 - 09:40

    I have no issue with the ban or with those breaking the law being fined! What I do take issue with is how many police officers, both city police and RCMP, I see driving and talking on their cell phones, not much of an example!!!!!!

  • homer
    July 24, 2012 - 09:35

    Great to see the police take this initiative! On my to work this morning I was stuck behind this girl at the lights who didn't notice it was green...either she was busy texting away or she always waits at lights with her head down. ;)

  • george
    July 24, 2012 - 09:34

    who charges the police from texting and driving,,seen a few..

  • crackdown not the word
    July 24, 2012 - 09:32

    Indeed Becky is correct. The police could bag more than 16 violators in 20 minutes at any intersection. To call 16 tickets a crackdown is ridiculous. The Charlottetown Police Department are perhaps the most inept police force in the world.

  • itsabouttime
    July 24, 2012 - 09:31

    I watched one driver of a commercial truck holding the cell phone in his right hand (up to his ear) and his left hand was hanging out the windows with a cigarette in it. I guess he thought the truck would steer itself. "...most people support the ban but don’t believe it applies to them" this is right on the money. I still think the fines should be doubled if not tripled if you are caught texting while driving. You can't see the road or traffic if your busy looking down at your crotch.

  • Islander
    July 24, 2012 - 09:27

    how about getting the police to stop using their cell phones while driving I see them all the time driving and talking on their phone

  • gogetem
    July 24, 2012 - 09:24

    Go coppers, go. Lots of people are hiding their devices on their lap or texting down low so it's hard to see them. They are putting our lives at risk. Driving is a task that needs the driver's FULL attention! Fine all those texting/talking buggers!

    July 24, 2012 - 09:19

    Thae article stated that 11 were fined. The article further states that 16 were caught. Were the other five people of influence therefore above the law?

    • Jody
      July 24, 2012 - 10:36

      Perhaps a better read might be in order. "Police charged 11 people for either talking or texting while driving over the weekend and another five on Monday."

  • Karen
    July 24, 2012 - 09:14

    Good for the police but they could have worked at it longer than an hour. This is a great revenue source for the city.

  • Sylvia
    July 24, 2012 - 09:12

    I've never lived in a time when people were so immature & irresponsible. It's too bad that the police have to use their time for stuff like this. Some adults never mature, no matter how old they are.

  • Becky
    July 24, 2012 - 09:07

    Just have the police sit at any major intersection in the city and it would be a bonanza for them! I am so glad that they are doing this, I am sick of almost getting run off the road by these losers texting.

  • Nosey
    July 24, 2012 - 09:01

    How many were men and how many were women?