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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Smithers woman awarded $55K in RCMP excessive force suit

Irene Joseph alleged false arrest and assault and battery related to a 2014 incident in Smithers

Cannabis shop soon to open in Witset

Indigenous Bloom shop to be followed by cannabis cultivation facility in closed down sawmill

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

Orphaned bear cub named after Snowbirds Capt. Jenn Casey to be cared for in Smithers

Neighbours assist in capture of Tappen Triplets now in care of Northern Lights Wildlife Society

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Still a lot of work to do to fully connect regional district

Draft strategy shows dependence on on single fibre optic cable route, poor cellular service on roads

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Most Read