Distracted driving is a leading factor in deaths on B.C. roads. The Province is reinvigorating its push to eliminate this dangerous behaviour and save lives through significantly higher fines, more penalty points, and earlier interventions for repeat offenders – including driving prohibitions.
Effective June 1, distracted drivers are subject to the following:
- 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.
- Repeat offenders, upon a second offence within 12 months will pay the $368 fine plus $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.
“These tough new sanctions reflect what we heard from the public during our consultation process,” says Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “90 per cent of respondents said they support stronger distracted driving penalties to help make roads safer. Through these new measures, your government is sending a strong message that this high-risk behaviour won’t be tolerated.”
*The new financial penalties for distracted driving are calculated using the base fine of $368 combined with escalating ICBC Driver Penalty Point premiums which start at $175 for the first offence and climb for any additional offence within a 12-month period. Further stiffening these consequences, distracted driving is being elevated to the threshold for “high-risk” driving offences, making it equivalent to excessive speeding and driving without due care and attention.
- Distracted driving and inattention is a top contributing factor to motor vehicle crashes, along with drug- or alcohol-affected driving, and speeding.
- In 2014, distracted and inattentive driving killed 66 people and seriously injured 630 on B.C. roads.
To learn more about road safety rules and the consequences of unsafe driving, please visit http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/driving-and-cycling/road-safety-rules-and-consequences.
For ICBC tips on safe cellphone use: http://www.icbc.com/road-safety/crashes-happen/Distracted-driving/Pages/Default.aspx.