Based on the number of distracted driving tickets issued last month alone in Vancouver, it appears dangerous driving behaviours “are still an issue,” said VPD Const. Jason Doucette.
- Tougher penalties for distracted driving to come into effect in BC this month
- Snacking while driving in BC could result in a $368 fine
- Distracted driver ticketed twice within 6 minutes in downtown Vancouver
Overall, Doucette said over 2,100 distracted driving tickets were issued in March – which also happens to be distracted driving awareness month in BC.
“The VPD and police agencies throughout the province stepped up their enforcement last month to encourage drivers not to be distracted behind the wheel,” said Doucette. “We would really like to get to point where it becomes a challenge for our officers to find distracted drivers.”
Unfortunately, he added, “even after all of the public awareness motorists receive, there has been very little need for us to get creative.”
The fines for using an electronic device start at $368, and the costs increase with subsequent tickets.
“It only takes a second for a sudden change in traffic, or for someone to walk in front of your vehicle, often leaving you with a completely preventable collision,” said Doucette.
In 2018, ICBC, the provincial government, and police announced increased enforcement for distracted driving. They’ve also revealed that they’ll be testing new technology to prevent distracted driving, as well as increasing penalties.
Convictions for distracted driving will now be included in ICBC’s Driver Risk Premium (DRP) program – a premium that a driver pays if they have a driving-related criminal conviction, motor vehicle act convictions, speeding convictions, roadside suspensions, and now use of an electronic device. That means that drivers with multiple convictions for using electronic devices while driving will face even higher premiums on top of their insurance.
Drivers could see themselves paying as much as $2,000 in fines – an increase of $740 over previous penalties.
-With files from Vincent Plana