Distracted driving remains the third leading cause of fatal car crashes in British Columbia, trailing behind speeding and impaired driving.
On average, 91 people are killed each year in B.C. due to driver distractions, such as using a hand-held electronic device while behind the wheel.
“A phone call or text can wait for you to reach your destination or find a safe place to pull over,” says Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
“It is simply not worth the risk of causing a crash and causing serious injury or worse to yourself or someone else on the road. Police across B.C. are doing their part to change this dangerous behaviour by ticketing drivers and enforcing the law.
That means if you’re caught talking or texting on your cell while driving, you could face a $167 fine and three penalty points.”
Drivers are four times more likely to crash when talking on a hand-held phone and 23 times more likely to get in a crash if they text behind the wheel.
“Safety is our top priority and we all play a vital role in keeping our highways and roads safe,” says Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone.
“Remember in less than ideal weather conditions to use your common sense, slow down and drive to the conditions. Always stay focused on the road and don’t pick up your cell phone or allow other distractions.”
Police are stepping up enforcement across the province and will be out in full-force checking for distracted drivers throughout February.
Texting behind the wheel takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 50 km/h, that is equivalent to driving 64 metres blind – more than the length of a professional-size hockey rink.
The distracted driving campaign aims to change driver attitudes and behaviours. For more tips and information on this year’s campaign, visit icbc.com.
• Every year, on average, 34 people die in the Southern Interior in distracted driving-related crashes.