Distracted driving, like drinking and driving, is entirely avoidable, yet too often has devastating consequences.
On June 1, new regulations, fines and penalties on distracted driving come into effect. These enhanced initiatives are in large part due to the public consultation our government held last year.
Driving is a privilege. For drivers who do not learn from their mistakes, we are hitting irresponsible drivers where it hurts – their wallets and the privilege of having a licence.
Each offence will include a base fine of $368 – up from $167 – and will add four penalty points to a person’s driving record.
First-time offenders will face a minimum $543 in financial penalties – the $368 base fine, plus ICBC’s escalating Driver Penalty Point (DPP) premium of $175 for the first offence.
Those who offend twice within one year will pay the $368 base fine plus ICBC’s escalating DPP premium of $520 for a total of $888 in financial penalties, which escalate further for any additional offence
Repeat offenders will also have their driving record subject to automatic review which could result in a three-to-12 month driving prohibition.
Distracted driving is one of the top contributing factors in motor vehicle deaths in B.C. In 2014 alone, 66 people were killed and 630 were seriously injured in crashes caused by distracted driving and inattention. What’s more, each of these deaths and injuries was 100 per cent preventable.
If you are driving, leave your phone alone and concentrate on the road.