RCMP in Prince George will be partnering up with community volunteers to hammer down on distracted driving in September.

Volunteers are setting up Cell Watch deployments to remind drivers to leave their phones alone.

“Distracted driving is one of those things that the more time we spend enforcing it, the more results we will get,” says RCMP Corporal Craig Douglass, “there are still huge amounts of people that use their devices while driving because some don’t think the rule applies to them.”

In addition to the cell watch deployments, RCMP will also be setting up random road checks, traffic stops and community volunteers reporting to police officers.

“It is also a leading cause of death in the province and for that reason, we will be ramping up enforcement in the month of September,” adds Douglass

According to ICBC, 12 people are killed every year on average in distracted driving-related crashes in the North Central region, and in BC more than one-quarter of fatal crashes involve distracted driving.

ICBC also notes that since B.C.’s distracted driving law came into effect in January 2010, more than 430,000 infractions have been issued to drivers for using an electronic device while driving.

“Anytime somebody takes their  attention off the road is a risk,” said Douglass, “it only takes a second to change somebody’s life.”