Shaming speeders? B.C. police using social media to discourage bad driving
VANCOUVER – Hoping to discourage drivers from dangerous behaviour, some police departments are making use of social media to share stories from the road.
On Wednesday, the Delta Police Department posted on Twitter that they had pulled over three excessive speeders.
"Driver doing 176 km/h on his motorcycle today on Highway 99 claimed to be 'unaware of his speed.' Not sure about that, but he was definitely unaware he passed a police car," a tweet about one of the drivers says. "$483 ticket may-or may not-enlighten him. When his insurance goes up he'll get another reminder."
Cris Leykauf, public affairs manager with the DPD, told CTV News Vancouver they created a traffic-specific Twitter account in early 2018. Through that account, they give drivers a weekly heads-up of specific enforcement campaigns in advance, while also sharing stories of some dangerous driving they've witnessed.
"By putting these kind of stories out there, we really want people to kind of reflect when they get behind the wheel, things can go wrong in less than a second and those choices that drivers make beforehand will make a difference as to what happens in that second," she said.
Leykauf said it's hard to know for sure that these posts have had an effect, but that crashes were down 13 per cent in 2018 from 2017.
"It's hard to measure that exactly," Leykauf said, adding that "sometimes visuals stay in people's minds more."
Delta isn't the only police force using social media to call attention to dangerous drivers. Coquitlam RCMP also posted to Twitter on Wednesday showing a photo of a car being impounded after going 55 km/h over the speed limit.
"Driving like your grandma doesn't usually mean doing 125km/h in a 70 km/h zone, unless you've borrowed her car and are taking it for a rip on the Mary Hill Bypass," the post says. "Let's hope grandma has a second car since this one is getting impounded."
And earlier this month, Vancouver police posted dashcam footage showing a cruiser getting hit by a distracted driver.
Leykauf said their posts never identify the driver, however, and that the purpose of them is mostly about education and awareness.
"We really want people to carefully consider their choices when they get into a vehicle," she said.