Nanaimo RCMP say some drivers are still not getting the message when it comes to distracted driving.

March was distracting driving awareness month and Mounties were involved in multiple initiatives to address road safety.

The Harbour City partnered with community volunteers who conducted “Cell Watch” operations, reminding drivers to put their phones away while operating a motor vehicle.

According to RCMP, 27 tickets were issued for distracted driving related offences throughout the campaign, the vast majority for using electronic devices.

“Some [drivers] are justifying it by saying ‘well I’m at a light, I’m not driving, my phone is in my lap’ that’s not acceptable,” said Const. Gary O’Brien. “Drivers have to break the habit, they have to put that phone away.”

Tickets were also issued for driving while control was obstructed and multiple warning letters were sent to vehicle owners regarding cell phone usage. 

B.C. police forces will launch another distracted driving campaign in the fall. 

In 2016, distracted driving fine doubled from $167 to $368.

If that wasn’t enough to prevent drivers from texting and driving, last year the province announced it was moving to designate distracted driving as “high risk” behaviour under the ICBC Driver Risk Premium Program.