BC Highway Patrol: March is Distracted Driving Month
March is Distracted Driving/Occupant Restraint Awareness Month and police across the Province will be conducting intensified distracted driving enforcement in your area. Fatal and serious injury motor vehicle collisions due to distracted driving are completely preventable and BC Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to keep your eyes on the road and your hands up on the wheel.
Distracted driving is responsible for more than 25% of all car crash fatalities and is the second leading cause of fatal collisions in BC. Every year, an average of 76 people die in fatal motor vehicle collisions in BC because the driver was distracted or not paying attention.
Distracted driving is more than just using an electronic device but also includes other distractions such as personal grooming, eating/drinking, reading, unsecured pets, other passengers and not knowing your route. Doing any of these things while driving may cause your trip to end in tragedy.
It all starts with you, says Chief Superintendent Holly Turton, Officer in Charge of BC Highway Patrol. Ask yourself if it is worth your life or someone else’s to answer a call, check your email or send that text while you are driving. Please make the right choice when you drive – ignore your phone and drive responsibly. Your life may depend on it – and others may be depending on you to get to your destination safely.
Police across the Province are stepping up distracted driving enforcement. The fines for Using an Electronic Device while driving start at $368 and 4 penalty points for the first offence, and the costs increase with each subsequent offence. The fine for Driving without Due Care is $368 and 6 penalty points.
And, while seatbelt compliance is generally quite high in BC, on average, 51 people are killed every year in collisions that may have been survivable had restraints been worn. Occupant restraints refers to all occupants of your vehicle, including children who are required to be secured in approved infant or child seats, appropriate to age and height. Police recommend that you always buckle up even if you are going short distances – seatbelts and airbags work together to protect you and the occupants of your car. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $167.
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