Const. Alex Bérubé, media relations officer with the West Shore RCMP, says he has encountered a wide-range of unusual incidents where people have been driving while distracted. (Shutterstock)

Const. Alex Bérubé, media relations officer with the West Shore RCMP, says he has encountered a wide-range of unusual incidents where people have been driving while distracted. (Shutterstock)

Bowls of cereal to bra removals: RCMP share B.C. drivers’ bizarre distractions

Shaving and applying makeup among the infractions where police have caught drivers in the act

In today’s world, it’s become alarmingly easy for our attention to steer away from the road while driving.

Const. Alex Berube, an RCMP media relations officer with Greater Victoria’s West Shore detachment, says he has encountered a wide-range of unusual incidents where people have been driving while distracted.

“We see, more often than you would think, people eating full-on meals, lunch or breakfast, with cutlery and everything,” laughed Berube. “It’s scary because you will see them steering with their knee, holding a cereal bowl in one hand and a spoon in the other.”

On March 15, West Shore RCMP tweeted that they stopped a vehicle that was reportedly being driven erratically on Sooke Road, and the driver explained it was because she was removing her bra.

“This is distracted driving too!” the tweet said.

RELATED: Loose pets in the car can cost $109 fine, says Saanich cop, plus ICBC points

Saanich Police also recently notified the public that having pets, objects and passengers obstruct a driver’s view out the front or side windows is considered a distraction.

Having a large dog in the passenger seat blocking the window could lead to a ticket for driving while the view is obstructed – an infraction that brings a $109 fine and three penalty points, said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich Police Department. A driver trying to control a pet running around in the vehicle may receive a $368 ticket for driving without due care and attention.

Berube says he’s been an officer long enough that nothing surprises him anymore. He has often witnessed men shaving their faces, women doing their makeup, and people reading books while driving.

“It’s not just a brochure or a magazine either, it’s been full-on novels,” said Berube. “That book must be incredibly captivating to be reading it while behind the wheel.”

READ ALSO: Driver on take-out food run caught going 67 km/h over limit in front of Saanich police headquarters

Though life is busy and people are often in a hurry, Berube warns of the risk and serious consequences of distracted driving. A fine for a first-time offence of distracted driving starts at $368, along with four points off your licence at a cost of $210 to ICBC. For the next offence, the cost of the penalty rises.

The most common reason for people taking their eyes off the road is due to cellphones, Berube said, as police catch people scrolling behind the wheel daily.

Aside from keeping your eyes on the road, other safe driving tips Bérubé reminds the public of is to keep a safe distance between other vehicles, use caution when reversing, use your signals when changing lanes and turning, try to stay visible and out of other drivers’ blind spots, and obey signs and signals.

“The road rage is something we see a lot as well, and it’s important to recognize that every driver makes a mistake from time to time, it’s human nature,” said Berube. “We have to take a deep breath and not let situations escalate, otherwise our heart rate rises, vision narrows, and it makes driving dangerous.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

-With files from Devon Bidal


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Westshore RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood, this includes protecting one’s home by moving equipment and other assets from these areas to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-normal spring flood season

High-streamflow advisory issued for the Cariboo Region and areas including Williams Lake, Quesnel and Prince George

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

RCMP cruiser, no date.
One man apprehended after high-risk situation in Ashcroft

Distraught man made threats directed at police, potentially had access to firearms

Janice Maurice, president of the South Cariboo Museum Society, and vice-president Peter Brandle, hope to see the Clinton Museum reopen its doors this spring. (Kelly Sinoski - 100 Mile Free Press).
Clinton Museum anticipated to reopen this year

Society board waiting to hear from province on health orders.

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read