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.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

Cameron Baughen, solid waste management coordinator at the Regional District of the South Okanagan Similkameen, has been spreading the word of at-home composting around Penticton. (Photo - Pixabay)
RDOS and Penticton to launch compost facility study

The study will look at the impact and requirements for a new biosolid waste facility

BC Transit will offer free bus service in the South Okanagan and Similkameen on Earth Day, April 22. (Black Press file photo)
BC Transit to offer free Earth Day bus service in South Okanagan and Similkameen

Conventional routes, On-Request and handyDART services all included in day of free service

A suspected water leak has closed Government Street between Nelson Avenue and Penticton Avenue.
Water main leak closes portion of Government Street

City crews are trying to find the suspected water leak this morning

road closed
Mudslide closes Penticton road

Eastside Road is closed in both directions, take Highway 97 instead

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Shuswap businesses dependent on  tourism are bracing for further details of travel restrictions expected to be announced by Friday, April 23. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
B.C. travel restrictions create uncertainty among North Okanagan-Shuswap businesses

Sicamous mayor to ramp up campaign against licence plate hate

The site of a proposed water bottling facility referred to in a groundwater licence application is in the vicinity of this intersection. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Concerns raised over water licence application in Salmon Arm for bottling water

Neighbours want to know more, city councillor concerned about commercial use of public aquifers

Sheldon Pierre Louis’s winning mural design, “kʷu mr̓imstn, we are medicine.” (Facebook: Okanagan Nation Alliance)
Syilx artist selected as winner of Kelowna Gospel Mission’s mural project

Sheldon Pierre Louis was also awarded $10,000 for his winning submission, “kʷu mr̓imstn, we are medicine.”

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

Most Read