A screen grab from a video shows a Surrey RCMP officer approaching a car in a McDonalds drive-thru in Surrey. (Submitted)

B.C. Mountie’s warning to not talk on phone to driver at drive-thru sparks online rage

Police say it was just a ‘quick reminder’ for driver who was on phone before pulling into drive-thru

Surrey Mounties say they are not targeting motorists in fast-food drive-thrus for distracted driving and ticketing them for being on their cell phones.

Nevertheless, social media is abuzz after video surfaced of a Surrey RCMP approaching the driver of a vehicle in a McDonald’s drive-thru.

On May 8, Twitter user @DrDangles87 posted a video of a Mountie walking through a parking lot and up to a vehicle going through the drive-thru. The Twitter user asked if RCMP is “actually out here ticketing people for using their phones at a drive thru.”

“Is this a joke? This is harrassment,” the Tweet reads.

Surrey RCMP responded saying this happened two weeks ago, and the officer “issued a verbal warning to the driver after observing them allegedly using a device while driving prior to entering the drive thru area.”

Police said a ticket was not issued.

The officer, Surrey RCMP said, was in the area “following up on an unrelated investigation.”

“They were not conducting targeted enforcement in the drive-thru.”

Corporal Elenore Sturko told the Now-Leader the incident arose from something “that didn’t have anything to do with the drive-thru.”

She said two officers were in the area investigating something else and were pulling into the McDonald’s parking lot when they saw a motorist, prior to being in the drive-thru, talking on a cell phone.

“The person drove right by them talking on the phone,” she said. “The person was chatting on their phone. They weren’t in there targeting, they just saw a person drive by on their phone.”

Sturko said they told the motorist what they were doing was illegal, as a “quick reminder.”

“It is standard practise for an officer who sees someone committing a dangerous act like talking on a cellphone to engage with members of the public and make the decision at the time whether, based on their discretion what they’ve observed, whether they would issue a ticket or a warning.

“In this case they had observed a person who was in violation of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act by operating an electronic device while driving, and could have received a pretty hefty fine, but instead opted to give that person just a warning,” Sturko said. “Regardless of the fact that it’s a drive-thru or a parking lot, under the Motor Vehicle Act those are considered part of the roadway and still subject to enforcement of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act.”

That said, she added, “I can tell you that officers are not targetting drive-thrus. We are not targeting drive-thrus.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

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

Just Posted

‘It lifts the spirits’, LRCA Senior’s Coordinator encourages community to check in with seniors

The LRCA has been calling seniors to check in on what services they may need

Mid-Island Panago locations offer free pizza to first responders

First responder can get free pizza at Panago in Parksville, Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Duncan, and Mill Bay

Ladysmith Spring Cleanup Week postponed

The decision was made to protect collection workers from possible COVID-19 exposure

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

Vandekamp moving on from Cowichan Capitals

Head coach returns to AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Ongoing list of Ladysmith COVID-19 cancellations and closures

Everything in Ladysmith that has been impacted by COVID-19

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Most Read