Woman pulled over for distracted driving, Richmond RCMP ‘shocked’ to learn of 12 prior convictions

Ian Hardy

March 12, 2016 9:00am

British Columbia’s government banned the use of handheld devices while driving in 2010.

The current fines for disobeying the law are $167 and three demerit points, which is one of the lowest penalties in the country. While the fines are small, education on its impact is still needed as distracted driving is responsible for approximately one-quarter of all fatal crashes in the province.

Case in point is a tweet from the Richmond RCMP who recently pulled over a driver using their device that has been caught twelve times before. According to Cpl. Dennis Hwang, “I have never encountered anyone with that many convictions for distracted driving, ever. Might be a good candidate for having their driving license reviewed.”

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Last June, a survey designed to help the province decide what penalties to adopt for distracted driving was launched with the specific goal of curbing distracted driving in the province. The majority of respondents indicated stronger penalties would be an effective deterrent, specifically related to the dollar amount drivers are fined.

Justice minister Suzanne Anton recently stated, “there will likely be changes to the penalty structure, but those remained to be seen and announced.”

  • Can’t Fix Stupid

    I guess when your house is worth $4 mln owing to foreign buyers a $167 ticket is nothing but chump change. The location of most of the tickets…Richmond is interesting.

    • mizkitty

      The fact that they won’t release her name is also interesting…

    • Wake Up

      Its probably in Chinese

    • ShaBi

      Why would they? That’s stepping in the breach of privacy territory, and they sure don’t wanna go there.

    • Lyndon Boychuk

      They were able to break into the iPhone she was using to see who she was texting before impact….thank goodness for iOS 8. Now…if she was using iOS 9 we would all know her name as she is entered into the terrorist watchlist. 🙂

    • rick

      Wouldn’t have to break into phone for that. Would be retrievable from the Carrier.

      now a data messaging service – then yes you’re correct. But not straight txt

    • Lyndon Boychuk

      Yeah I know. I was being sarcastic 🙂

    • MoYeung

      You make it sound like Canada has to rely on “stealing” overseas money ($4 million overpriced house) to prop your sacking economy…

    • It’s Me

      To be fair, I think he was only referring to the fact that Chinese money has inflated the housing market in BC. That’s really undeniable.

    • MoYeung

      Sounds ungrateful nevertheless. If the government here don’t appreciate foreign investment, shut the door and also don’t trade with foreign countries, ie, don’t export LNG or other Canadian products to Asia.

    • Lulzon

      Quite the opposite, I think Canada is quite grateful of all the foreign investments we receive, but the cost of owning a home is unattainable for the majority of citizens in major urban areas largely due to foreign owners.

      Nothing wrong with foreign owners, i just think we need people living in these spaces rather than having them sit empty.

    • MoYeung

      Cost of owning a home?

      In USA, only 35% to 36% people ever own his or her own property. This is your Capitalism society. Ownership is not a given, whatsoever.
      (In Canada, it is 50% mostly because rich new immigrants buy homes)

      It is too expensive. Move!
      Lots of small town in Canada waiting for you to go there.

      Besides, you are in control. You can stop foreign money any time, just shut the door.

      Having them sit empty? Do you know the guy named Jay Leno? How many cars does he own? Google it. How many cars sit empty in the garage while people take the bus? Do you respect Capitalism and private property or not?

    • MoYeung

      BY DOUGLAS TODD, VANCOUVER SUN MARCH 21, 2016
      VANCOUVER — Canadian politicians, keen to stimulate B.C.’s economy, are responsible for creating the conditions that have lead to Metro Vancouver’s housing affordability crisis, according to a new study.

      Politicians decided to “reboot a troubled regional economy through an infusion of activity from the growth region of the Asia Pacific,” UBC geographer David Ley says in a peer-reviewed paper published in The International Journal of Housing Policy.

      Largely as a result of governments’ efforts to attract wealthy immigrants and investment from East Asia, “house prices have risen rapidly and the detached housing market is now unaffordable to most Vancouver residents,” writes Ley.

      Given that federal, provincial and municipal governments have shown a “minimal response” to Metro residents’ housing difficulties, Ley concludes most politicians have accepted that astronomical prices and mortgage debt are just the “collateral damage” from expanding the B.C. economy.

      One of the federal government’s key policy tools for attracting Asia-Pacific money to Metro Vancouver real estate was the business-immigration program, says Ley, a leading expert on how the world’s “gateway” cities are changing because of high in-migration.

      The program, which gave preferential treatment to wealthy migrants, proved extremely popular in Hong Kong and Taiwan in the 1980s and 1990s and in Mainland China since 2000.

      More than four out of five of the affluent people who took advantage of Canada’s business-immigrant program have arrived from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Ley found.

      And roughly 200,000 of them moved to Metro Vancouver, where they account for almost nine per cent of the population, Ley estimates in his study, titled “Global China and the making of Vancouver’s residential property market.”

      Repeated government trade missions to Asia in recent decades also effectively generated East Asians’ desire to invest in Metro Vancouver real estate, where Ley says deregulation meant local citizens would have virtually no legal protections from runaway housing costs.

      Vancouver’s Expo 86, which took shape during the 1980s’ recession as a transportation fair, was a key event in Canadian governments’ strategy to market the city to Asians, Ley maintains.

      The fair’s promotional power for enticing Asian money to Vancouver real estate, Ley said, boosted even higher when B.C.’s Social Credit government sold much of the Expo lands, at a low cost, to Hong Kong’s richest man, billionaire Li Ka-shing, owner of developer Concord Pacific.

      The huge volume of Mainland Chinese multimillionaires who are coming to Metro Vancouver to buy property is out of proportion to the city’s relatively small size, Ley says.

      “Vancouver, the closest major city to East Asia and with a high quality of life, is the most popular destination, especially for the wealthiest investor newcomers,” the vast majority of whom concentrate on real estate.

      The respected Hurun Report said in 2014 that Mainland China has more than one million households worth more than $2 million Cdn — and six out of 10 of the residents of those households want to leave the Communist-led country

      The Hurun Report, Ley said, found the top three city destinations for well-off Mainland Chinese who are eager to emigrate are Vancouver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

      As Ley adds: “Vancouver was more popular as a destination than New York and Sydney (Australia) combined.”

      In most of its migration policies, Ley said Canada set the bar much lower than other countries in terms of economic and social requirements of rich newcomers and offshore investors.

      Even though the Conservative government closed the business-immigrant scheme in 2014, affluent ethnic Chinese eager to buy real estate continue to move to Metro through the back door of Quebec’s business-immigrant program.

      East Asians are also among those most likely to be purchasing Metro Vancouver dwellings while in the country on new 10-year multiple-entry visas, Ley said in an interview.

      The 10-year visas, instituted in 2012, provide all the flexibility that most Asian and other millionaires want in order to invest and live seasonally in Metro Vancouver, he said.

      The city is undergoing massive change, Ley maintains, because Canada’s federal, provincial and municipal governments increasingly embrace the principles of globalized, free-market capitalism to welcome wealth from the Asia Pacific region.

      “Their objectives were aided by neo-liberal tools that included open borders, deregulation, a place-boosting world’s fair, liberalized immigration policies and a development-ready province pushing back the gains of labour and the welfare state.”

      Given their policies, Ley’s paper questions how politicians, particularly B.C. Housing Minister Rich Coleman, found it possible to argue in 2015 that Vancouver housing prices were “pretty reasonable” and that foreign ownership of property had nothing to do with government.

      “Yet it most certainly did, for governments had for 30 years led trade and investment missions to Asia, and had used the tool of business immigration to draw in entrepreneurs and their capital.”

      The inflated housing prices that have resulted in large part from new East Asian wealth are especially devastating for young and middle-aged Metro Vancouverites, Ley said in a recent talk sponsored by City in Focus.

      A study by SFU researcher Andy Yan found that Metro’s university-educated adults earn the lowest wages on average in Canada’s 10 largest cities, Ley said. Many are “disillusioned” and leaving the city.

    • VLAN

      I see everyone here is trying not to be offensive yet you seem highly offended by their views. Also you keep referring to Canada and its citizens as “your country” and “you people”. I am guessing you are not a citizen? Because if a person is a citizen and they still refer to their own country like that, thats where the problem of foreign ownership comes in. Sitting here draining the resources/privileges of the country while having their roots and heart still set in their place of birth. Always comparing the two and thinking its better “back home”. Now this is not a jibe at you, as I know nothing about you and all this might not even apply to you. I am an immigrant myself (citizen now) and I take pride in being a Canadian and all that this country has to offer. So all I ask of you is to please refrain from asking “us” people to move or asking “us” to appreciate what foreign ownership is doing to “our” economy (nothing but creating a housing bubble).

    • Lyndon Boychuk

      That’s exactly right. I’ve talked to a few Chinese people in B.C. and they all said the same thing.

  • KBalaz

    so at 3 demerit points per violation thats 36 demerit points. How is she still driving anyway, she should have had her license suspended on demerit points?

    • KID ANDROID

      Exactly what I was thinking, would love to know how that’s possible.

    • ShaBi

      The answer is in my reply to kBalaz.

    • Cass_m

      Isn’t that rolled into insurance premiums as well?

      They’ve had a lot of problems with driving schools in BC – maybe THAT’S where the crack down should start.

    • Mike Scott

      I think only Manitoba and Nfld does the premiums .. I think anyway. Demerits isin’t enough.. insurance is a great thing cause its long lasting

    • ShaBi

      It’s not rolled into insurance premiums, but rather ICBC forces you to pay an additional fine to buy your points back. It’s all money grab, really.

    • mizkitty

      It’s spread over 5 years…the only year she got more than two tickets was 2014.

    • KBalaz

      they also accumulate and do not reset at the end of the year. She should have lost her license in 2014 when she hit 15 points.

    • ShaBi

      She probably did, and was suspended. The ticket after the last one in 2014 was 10 months later.

    • ShaBi

      in BC, you’ll get suspended for 2-3 months if you accumulate 3 tickets within a year. Then you’ll have to pay an additional premium to “buy your points back”. Looking at her record, it’s mostly 2 tickets within a year, except for 2014 where she had 5. She most likely did got a suspension and paid the fine and was back on the road, since the next ticket in 2015 wasn’t until 10 months later. So it actually makes sense.

      I’m in the insurance business in BC, so I know =)

  • Brad Fortin

    I think there’s a joke to be made about Richmond’s demographics and bad drivers, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

    • Laer

      There are 4 offenses that have been redacted from that document also.

      That’s 16 tickets in 4 years!!

      I’m a chronic everything imaginable bad driver, with one exception — I look out for cops, and I drive in a way that doesn’t arouse suspicion, expect the excessive speeding part (o;. No tickets in ten years.

  • KID ANDROID

    BC has the worst most selfish drivers in Canada by far. Not only is distracted driving a big problem there but also running through school bus stop signs and endangering children’s lives which is the most pathetic and selfish thing you can do driving is endangering children and these ppl should be ashamed of themselves.
    I’d be intrested in the ethnicity and ages of most of the offenders because I have a theory of who it is doing most of these infractions.

    • Logodude

      Don’t forget hit and runs. Worst I’ve ever seen and I’ve lived in every province. You won’t see any ethnicity figures in this country. The leftist Liberals and media have seen to that.

    • It’s Me

      White Power Brother!

      I guess ethic stats about things like this would make some people feel better about themselves.

      You and @KID_ANDROID:disqus can throw a couple salutes to each other and maybe share a hood.

    • T Mac

      Can’t leave them alone with your kids either…damn pedo’s…

    • MoYeung

      Don’t forget Westjet flight attendant lawsuit.

      Somebody can get away with everything.

    • Kusanagi

      QC is not far behind, let me tell you.
      Ask the drivers in Ontario or Vermont state about us… 🙁

    • KiwiBri

      and i thought Ontario was the worst!??

    • Kusanagi

      Not at all !!

      I drive in Ontario a couple of times per year and I feel sooooo safer right there. People are signaling they are changing lane and NO tailgating.
      Even if they are speeding a bit (around 130), their is a form of respect for each other on the road. It’s a bit hard to explain, but trust me, Ontario drivers are very cool on the road.

      I even feel bad to have my ‘je me souviens’ licence plate when I go there…! (lol)…

    • Humbre

      Move to Ontario then. No one from QC will miss you!

    • Ali F.

      Pay a visit to Montreal. I live in Ottawa, driving mood changes the moment you cross the bridge to Gatineau.

    • TheShinraCorp .

      Yeah it’s crazy how we drive in Quebec 😛 When in Ontario everyone takes the time and are distance from each other… it feels a whole lot safer like that.

    • robinottawa

      Really? You’ve done some research that will identify a specific group that the insurance people missed. Please tell us. We don’t want to be killed by not knowing when to get out of the way whenever we see one of these ______________s.

  • Chad Sexington

    In my daily drive I see dozens of people on their phones either talking on it at the side of their head (more rare) or doing the phone in the lap/head nod thing. I also walk everyday and at one section of my walk can look down into passing cars, I would say 25% of people are on their phones. Anecdotally most of them are women (and don’t take that as I’m a misogynist).

    • Ali F.

      Or big truck drivers, I have seen many. They have no sense of danger in those big trucks.

    • MoYeung

      AND the cops give them a free pass, never get caught, selective prosecution by you know who.

  • Megalink

    What a loser.

  • Yeah, the tickets and penalties are so minor, it appears many simply don’t take it seriously. Sadly, I have friends who text and drive still, they’ve probably only got 1 ticket in the past 2 years of any at all, they think this distracted driving thing is just one big joke.

    I’ve said from the beginning. If you get caught driving with your phone out, impound the car + a ticket or whatever. A walk or hitching a ride to pay to get your car from impound might wake some people up.

    • dc2000

      Impound it til the next business day, so they really have some time to think about how big of a screw up they are.

    • Another good Idea 😀

  • Pammy A.

    A girl with that many distracted driving charges isn’t going to stop because of fines or demerit points. I think public shaming should be a requirement in these types of extreme cases – let everybody know who she is. And don’t take her license away for four months or whatever – take her PHONE away. That will get her attention…

    • dc2000

      Yup! Public shaming needs to happen. This is why I don’t drive in Richmond… eff that.

    • robinottawa

      Girls can’t drive. Only adults. And how do you know it’s a female?

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      The title of the article says so?

  • Wake Up

    Probably driving with a foreign drivers license so demerit points and fines don’t matter. So Richmond these days

  • robinottawa

    You posted her picture!?! :D. No attrition means you own the photo?

    Seriously, they can’t take their license away even though they’ve lost (12 x 3) 36 demerits?

    • It’s Me

      That’s not a photo of her. MobileSyrup has used that same photo many times over the years.

    • Mr_Smoosh

      About 12 or so..;) (yes I know it’s not really her)

  • MoYeung

    I see police cruisers run red light all the time in downtown Vancouver. Where do I report this, when cops protect each other?

  • MoYeung

    Over to the original CBC article, it says, “Driver who almost collided with an officer had been convicted 12 times since 2011”.

    –There is no conviction here.

    Provincial offences are minor (non-criminal) offences that include, but are not limited to:
    Speeding, careless driving, or not wearing your seat belt – Highway Traffic Act
    Failing to surrender your insurance card or possessing a false or invalid insurance card – Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act
    Being intoxicated in a public place or selling alcohol to a minor – Liquor Licence Act
    Entering prohibited premises or failing to leave premises after being directed to do so – Trespass to Property Act
    Violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and environmental legislation
    Noise, taxi and animal care bylaws – City bylaws

    It is like parking tickets. Your media just want to make it SOUND LIKE as CRIMINAL as possible by LYING and spilling propaganda.

    • It’s Me

      Highway traffic act violations still lead to convictions. Parking tickets are bylaw violations and are usually municipal. When I was a teen I had an OPP cop read me my rights for a highway traffic act violation (which was BS and was thrown out of court anyway). There’s nothing wrong with saying she has 12 convictions.

      She really is a danger to everyone else on the road and will eventually kill someone. She needs to lose her license. She’s a menace.

    • MoYeung

      Ok, I am unfamiliar with Ontario provincial laws.

  • 00cojo

    How many fatal accedents did she cause? Pretty sure all the icbc stats on this are misleading.

    • Up Yours

      Probably none.

  • Gul_Abul

    If this is such a danger, then make the punishment the same as for someone who is DUI. Still impaired, still operating a vehicle, still able to kill or injure someone, so its seems just as reasonable to expect the same punishment. Otherwise politicians are blowing smoke up our collective asses, in which case lets stop whining about it and move on.

    • Adam

      This. It’s so much worse than a DUI both in terms of bad decision making (you weren’t even drunk when you decided to do it) and in terms of impact (at least a drunk is trying to pay attention), so how come the penalty isn’t the same or worse than a DUI?

  • Up Yours

    The laws surrounding distracted driving are a joke and always will be. Phones are not the only ‘menace’ to driving but also radios, built-in GPS systems. Heck, even the heating/air conditioning console could be considered the same so until you remove all these features from a car what’s the point here? This is nothing more than a cash grab from a ‘nanny state’ Seems to me the greater threat to road safety remains drunk driving as the vast majority of the tragic accidents we hear about involve substance abuse while behind the wheel. Not someone texting a message.

  • downhilldude

    So, she’s already down 36 demerit points, just for this? How has she been able to keep her license?

  • thefoolishone

    The punishment for texting while driving should be harsher than DUI. Not to make light of drinking and driving, but an impaired person driving is at least probably looking at the road and perhaps trying their best not to attract police attention. With texting, your eyes are completely off target.

  • Mugs

    It shows on how some people take this law seriously well in this case not so seriously. I donot use my phone while driving gotta keep my eyes on the road there is enough crazy drivers out there without me using my phone while driving. I think the government provincially and federally should be more harsh on the people who continue to do so. I just wish people would realize that a text or a call is less important then their own lives or other people that are sharing the same roads as them.

  • Igor Babichev

    I still don’t why using cellphones is solely blamed for distracted driving. On one hand, some people can safely use a cellphone to activate voice commands or even answer it without even having to look at it. On the other hand, some people could pose risks adjusting their stereo, A/C or even eating/drinking while driving, yet there is no penalty for the latter (at least it’s very hard to prove them and actually charge for distracted driving).

    My personal opinion is that using cell phones shouldn’t be a primary offence. If the driver is observed to act distracted (not staying in lane, sudden acceleration/deceleration), they should be pulled over, regardless of whether they are talking to their passenger, eating, or using a cell phone, and perhaps get a heavier fine / more dimerit points if they were in fact using a cell phone. But if a driver does not display any signs of distracted driving and safely using their phone to place or take a call, they should not be pulled over and charged simply on the grounds of using the device. Numerous times I witnessed police officers in Vancouver talking on their cell phones and driving, which proves this particular law is bogus.