While other provinces have already implemented stiffer fines for those caught using a mobile device while driving, the Government of British Columbia is taking a slower approach.
Starting today until July 16th, the government is seeking feedback from the public on the best way “to stop distracted driving, and curb a high-risk behaviour that’s now the second-highest contributing factor in motor vehicle deaths on B.C. roads.” The government noted, “It is estimated that over 9,500 drivers are using a hand-held device while driving at any given time in B.C., with 40% of those drivers texting behind the wheel.”
Using a handheld device, such as a smartphone, was banned in B.C. in 2010. The penalty was increased last year to $167 and three demerit points.
Some of the requested feedback is seeking answers for:
– Is this penalty enough?
– Which sanctions would be most effective in deterring distracted driving?
– What should the number of penalty points be for distracted driving?
– How concerned are you about distracted driving in B.C.?
– Should drivers be fined higher for texting while driving, given the associated risks?
– Should new drivers, or repeat offenders, face different sanctions than other drivers?
The province’s Attorney General Suzanne Anton said, “People may say the fine should be something pretty enormous. We have to be reasonable on what the fine needs to be but that’s the kind of input that we’re interested in at the moment.”
You can learn more at the dedicated page below, and remember, “Your input could lead to possible changes to B.C.’s distracted driving sanctions.”
[source] British Columbia [/source]