The RCMP’s B.C. highway patrol division is intensifying distracted driving checks and enforcement provincewide as part of a campaign happening this month in partnership with ICBC and RoadSafetyBC.
Fines for distracted driving start at $368 and four penalty points, plus an additional driver risk premium assessed by ICBC.
Distracted driving is the cause of over 25 per cent of all vehicle fatalities in B.C. and is the second leading cause of fatal collisions, according to the RCMP. Since 2016, an annual average of 76 people have died in vehicle collisions as a result of distracted driving.
Beyond illegal use of a cellphone, distracted driving includes activities such as personal grooming, eating/drinking, reading, handling pets or struggling to remember your route.
“We have all seen this type of driver,” the RCMP stated in a release. “The one who can’t maintain a steady speed, can’t maintain their lane, stops well short of the stop line (or fails to stop altogether) and the ones who remain stopped even though other traffic has started moving. Driving while distracted may cause your trip to end in tragedy for you or someone else. Please don’t be that driver!”
“It all starts with you,” said BC Highway Patrol Supt. Holly Turton. “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 depend on you to get to your destination safely.”
For more about distracted driving, visit icbc.com/road-safety.
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