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RCMP say they issued tickets to four people using handheld devices while driving across the Hillsborough Bridge during a 45-minute traffic initiative on Nov. 9.
During those 45 minutes beginning at about 5:30 p.m., a Stratford RCMP officer stood by a light standard on the off-ramp into the town and watched for people texting and talking on their cellphones.
"Even though the officer was very easy to see, he still observed drivers on their cellphone while operating a motor vehicle," states a news release from Queens District RCMP. "When he saw these drivers in the line of traffic, he knocked on their windows and identified himself as a police officer. He instructed the drivers to pull off the highway into the parking lot of the Stratford Esso in a safe location where other members awaited and gave the drivers their summary offence tickets."
The RCMP say the fact these drivers did not even notice a uniformed police officer standing by the ramp demonstrates that using handheld devices is distracting and takes attention away from the road.
A ticket for using a handheld communication device while operating motor vehicle has a fine of $500 and 5 demerit points off their driver's licence.
RCMP caution they may use this exercise again in P.E.I., stating, "You never know where you'll see our officers next!"