Texting and driving is clearly a stupid combination, so the campaign illustrates other examples of #stupidcombos to heighten awareness. The public is being encouraged to submit their own ideas on Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #stupidcombos. Participants can even include their own drawings, using this postcard.
“In effect, we are using social media to stop people from using social media while driving,” says Staff Sergeant Howard Chow of the VPD’s Traffic Section.
Five finalists will be chosen based on creativity, originality, quality and popularity/likes on social media channels on October 17. The public will be given until October 21 to choose the winner, who will receive a police ride-along or, if the winner is under 16, a visit to the Dog Squad or Mounted Squad.
While the campaign may be light-hearted, the message is extremely serious. Brad Gorski was 21 years old and driving home from the gym when he decided to check his phone for a text. In an instant his life changed as he was hit by a semi-truck, spending seven weeks in a coma, seven months in hospital and re-learning how to walk, talk and eat.
Real Life #stupidcombos
If you hear the term “distracted driving” these days, most people will think of drivers using their cell phones. In fact, there are other things that can just as easily take your attention away from the road. Here is a selection of real life #stupidcombos that VPD officers have encountered:
- An officer pulled over a driver using a cell phone while driving. The ticket was issued quickly and as the driver pulled away, he picked up his cell phone once again. He was subsequently pulled over again and issued a second ticket — two tickets in three minutes.
- Ten police motorcycles on a group ride pulled up alongside a car at a red light. The driver looked over at the officers, who saw that she was texting on her cell phone. Even the sight of ten police officers was not enough to stop her from texting.
- One driver was ticketed for balancing his full-size laptop on the steering wheel and driver’s door while driving.
- Some drivers have come up with their own solution for using their cell phone while driving: taping their phone to the steering wheel, tucking it under their hat or wedging it in their clothing. None of these would fit the definition of “hands-free.”
- An officer pulled over a driver for reading a paperback propped on their steering wheel while driving.
- One creative motorist was pulled over by a traffic officer who was curious about why the man was talking into his coffee cup. It turned out the cup had an opening cut out of it and his cell phone was inside.
- And the winner: The driver observed wearing full headphones, holding a sandwich in one hand and watching a dash-level television screen, all while driving down a major Vancouver street.
Source: Vancouver Police Department