Victoria Cracks Down on Distracted Drivers
Prince George, B.C. – Drop it and drive.
That’s the message today as the provincial government announced stiff new penalties for those who use their cell phones while behind the wheel.
As of June 1st it will cost you $543.
“The fine will be $368, up from $167,” says Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris. “In addition, the penalty points will increase to four from three. That will kick in the ICBC point program.”
He says a second offense in a 12-month period will cost offenders $888 – a $368 ticket plus a further $520 in penalty points with penalties escalating from there.
In addition, Morris says starting June 1st emailing or texting while driving will be considered “a high risk offense.”
He says those who receive two or more tickets within one year will have their driving records reviewed and face a three to 12-month driving prohibition.
Morris says graduated drivers will face possible prohibitions after a 1st offence. An ongoing education and awareness program was also announced to help encourage drivers to change the way they think about distracted driving.
The changes reflect what the government heard during their public input process last year in which 90% of respondents indicated they support stronger distracted driving penalties to make roads safer.
Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone estimates distracted driving killed over 80 people in B.C. last year.