ICBC, police warn of tough penalties for distracted drivers
Distracted driving is a factor in nearly 40% of police-reported car crash injuries and contributes to 77 deaths in B.C. each year.
Despite the risk, many B.C. drivers continue to use electronic devices while driving. Since 2018, police have issued more than 140,000 distracted driving tickets (Every year, on average, 30 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior).
That’s why today, ICBC and police are launching a month-long education and enforcement campaign across the province to combat distracted driving. Police will be ramping up enforcement of distracted driving laws,”
“Despite increased awareness and enforcement efforts, many drivers still aren’t getting the message about the dangers of distracted driving,” said Constable Mike Moore, NCO BC Highway Patrol.
““Every time a driver takes their eyes off the road, they put themselves and others on the road in danger. British Columbia police will be out on the road in every community making sure people leave their phones alone while driving.”
Not only is distracted driving dangerous, but the costs can add up quickly.
One distracted driving ticket is $368 plus four driver penalty points ($214) for a total of $582.
Drivers with two convictions for using an electronic device while driving in a three-year period will face as much as $2,000 in fines and penalties, over and above any vehicle insurance premiums.
Drivers in the graduated licensing program could be prohibited from driving for 3-8 months on top of other penalties.
In communities across the province, volunteers will be conducting Cell Watch deployments to remind drivers to take a break from their phone while driving.
The campaign will also feature radio, digital and social media advertising.
Drivers can do their part by avoiding distractions and encouraging others to do the same.
Make sure everything needed before the start of driving is ready.
Activate the phone’s ‘do not disturb while driving’ feature or what’s similarly available on other devices or third-party apps to help you stay focused on the road.