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

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Moricetown, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada leader, answered questions during a Terrace District Chamber of Commerce event on April 6, 2021. (Screenshot/Terrace District Chamber of Commerce Facebook)
Erin O’Toole discusses Terrace issues during virtual event

Federal Conservative leader answered questions during a Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce event

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

Most Read