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Many charges, warnings in first 90 mins of distracted driver campaign

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Burnaby RCMP found no shortage of examples when it helped ICBC kick off its distracted driving campaign Tuesday morning.

Despite ample warning, including those broadcast on local radio stations, drivers were still texting and talking on their cellphones while approaching a crowd of police officers at the corner of Hastings Street and Kensington Avenue.

"In the hour and a half that we’ve been here today we’ve charged 11 drivers and issued 18 written warnings," said Burnaby RCMP Corp. Rick Skolrood.

"Our members also issued numerous verbal warnings far exceeding the number of tickets which were issued. We’ve also witnessed a number of drivers skidding to a stop at yellow and red lights once they’ve noticed the police presence, which would indicate they weren’t paying full attention to their driving."

According to ICBC, statistics show a driver is four times more likely to be involved in a collision while speaking on the phone and 23 times more likely while texting.

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