250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 3:37 pm

Distracted Driving Cause of More Deaths Than Impaired Driving

Thursday, September 7, 2017 @ 5:52 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Each year,  14 people on the North Central region of the province, die as a result of  a crash in which distracted  driving was a contributing cause.

ICBC says  even though there are  tougher penalties, increased police enforcement, and  plenty of messages  to remind people to leave the phone alone while behind the wheel,  on average 78 people will die in crashes in B.C. in which  distracted driving  was a factor.

In comparison,  on average, 66 people die in crashes where  impaired driving was  the cause.

In a recent Ipsos Reid study conducted for ICBC, nearly all respondents agree it is extremely risky to use their hand-held phone while driving; however, 38 per cent of drivers said they use their phone during at least 10 per cent of the trips they take.

This month,  expect to see  and hear plenty of advertising to  encourage drivers to “Take a break from your phone.  Police across the province are ramping up distracted driving enforcement this month.


Many People feel self entitled to use an electronic device while driving and while they yell, scream and use interesting hand signals to get their point across they are also in most likely hood the cause as well but they will never see it from that end.

Then there are the drivers who don’t use turn signals a turn signal is not a suggestion its the law if you don’t signal your intent and an accident happens you can face fines of distracted driving in addition to failure to use a turn signal.

Remember just because you have a license doesn’t give you the right to drive especially if you are not going to obey the laws so why have a license in the first place?

One has to wonder how they arrive at these statistics.

As an example they are comparing distracted driving to impaired driving, however in the case of distracted driving they say that 78 people will die in BC in which distracted driving was a FACTOR.

For impaired driving they state that 66 people will die where impaired driving was the CAUSE.

Big difference between a factor and a cause.

    Surprised you caught that one. Also the ipsos poll how many were on a car phone? All cars now have bluetooth built in don’t they – unless they are bare bones stock… ?

I ride a motorcycle a lot in town and on every ride I see distracted driving, whether that is with an electronic device , combing/spraying hair, slurping a Timmies double double, to a mom with a van full of distractions (kids). These cues are part of the survival techniques that long time motorcyclist acquire.

There has been a lot of bluster from the insurance monopoly and our contracted policing agency……but know real substance.

Chances of being caught engaged in those activities are very low….thus the non-compliance.

Now if the policing agency patrolled on their motorcycle , anytime of the day, with the sole intent on distracted driving, I suggest that that activity would pay dividends to the municipality ($$$) and to general public safety.

If this is been treated as it should then the police must release the number of patrols ,contacts made and fines issued every month.


    Well there are a lot of bikers in this town who drive very offensively making up for not having a cell phone in their hand.

      Bikers must drive offensively to survive on our streets. Cagers are a real enemy of bikers. I bet you are among the worst.

“…on average 78 people will die in crashes in B.C. in which distracted driving was a factor.”

How many of these were the innocent victims of these fools who still insist that ignoring the law and common sense is alright?

I still find it amusing that the RCMP drive around with their cellphones, gabbing with family members and coworkers, like their superhuman abilities prevent them from getting in accidents.

    ” gabbing with family members and coworkers”, and you know this how?
    Did you ever think they may be getting the latest info on an incident near you?
    I have no problem with a first responder on their phone in a vehicle at all.
    I DO have a problem with idiots who are poor drivers in the first place driving distracted. They have absolutely NO situational awareness, unlike good motorcycle operators who have to see things quickly and respond. Saw a fellow the other day slam on his brakes, no signal and turn, motorcyclist following came close to laying his bike down because the idiot in the car didn’t know how to drive, no judgement, no courtesy, no common sense.

      because I know a lot of cops? What difference does it make? Distracted driving is distracted driving, no matter who is behind the wheel. Ever wonder how they did it for so long with 2 way radios?

      Yeah, I know a bunch too. They rarely do what you suggest and would take exception to your statement.

Its not just about the people who die from distracted driving (from cell phone use), Its the huge number of increased crashes from fender benders to more serious crashes. Those that have caused bad injuries and has cost us good drivers of B.C. to have to pay a lot more for insurance. I see people all the time at intersections with there head in there lap.Much more enforcement is needed but understand that there are plenty of policing issues and not enough people to go around. Perhaps a new Govt agency to do just that, nail the cell phone users ,,,It would add more employment for people and would pay for itself collecting windfalls from the brain dead. Fines could start at 500 dollars up to the loss of your car if you don’t get it , Its time to take this very serious.

    Fines do start over 500 bucks as you get points and have to pay ICBC at the end of the year for them as well as the roadside fine. Add a second one and your points payment will be huge

      thanks, I looked it up which I should have done first ,, the fines needs to triple, and the amount of enforcement up to nail a substantial amount of people to get the message across .. impounds like Lien said would work well at getting the point across.

Like I have said before, confiscation of vehicles and a hefty fine. People pay the fines with credit, but inconvenience of impoundment can hurt them. When I see young ladies driving Dodge Durangos, cornering at the same time and on the phone, enough is enough! Also people my age who should know better, hit them hard too!! I also ride a motorcycle, so more observant than some. Just plain crazy, what the hell does it take???

    It takes a death close to them or injures them directly, unfortunately.

The phone never used to be much of a problem until they put that LCD screen on it.

Why is it that I can drive around in this town any time of the day or night and on any given day of the week and constantly run into people texting while they drive. You will never totally eliminate distractions in a vehicle. Unless we all own single seater commuter units with no radio, close down all drive through windows and create some zen like existence in our cars, distractions will always be part of driving. That’s why there is driver training. A good driver deals with the distractions that are present. Cell phones introduce a distraction which is not required to be present. We choose to get a phone and we choose to use a phone. If I can run into these texters everyday on PG roads, why can’t the RCMP see them. We have drinking/driving counter-attack programming. It worked pretty well to change idiot behaviour regarding alcohol consumption and driving. Time to get the RCMP to focus on this issue if it is as bad or worse then drunk driving.


politicians need to stop pussyfooting around and put in real penalties to end this in short order. every preventable death that occurs due to this before action that goes above and beyond the current “well we’ll have the mounties set up at a few intersections twice a year” is on the politician’s hands as much as it is on the self-centered drivers who cause them.

    Politishuns will never get it til they get out and work it.

    Sorry Mike, didn’t mean you.

The legal limit before drinking is .05%. So, why is it that I can’t have a beer when I drive home as long as I don’t pass that limit. In fact, why is it that no one in the vehicle can have an open container of alcohol.

Maybe because people can’t be trusted not to drink and drive to excess.

So, I think the results are clear. People cannot be trusted to responsibly use cellphones in their vehicle – so, ban them outright. A cellphone must be transported turned off, and it must be out or reach of the driver.

So, if the cops see you talking away to yourself – hands free or not, you get the ticket, you lose the phone – just like what would happen if they saw you chug on a beer while driving – you’d get a fine, and they’d take our booze away.

I mean 66 people, what other activity would we tolerate that kills 66 people a year?

Of course, if it was 66 people killed by gang violence, that would get some police attention.

    But, but…what if I’m just singing away to a good ol’ song ?

      Well, if you don’t have a cellphone turned on and in reach you’ll have a short conversation with a polite police officer – who if he likes the song, might even join in.

The last couple of months I have slowed down a lot. Most often I would go between 70 and 80 in a 60 zone and between 90 and 100 in an 80 zone. Now I am making a huge effort (cruise control helps) to slow down. Man it feels like I am going in slow motion. Especially through the intersections. If we all slowed down and did the speed limits there would be way fewer accidents. Also once you travel the speed limit for a while, you quickly realize everyone is speeding! We all go through busy intersections around twenty km over the speed limit. We look straight ahead and pay little attention to other vehicles around us.

Watch drivers the next time you are at a red light. The second that light turns green everyone steps on it without so much as a glance around the intersection to see if perhaps someone is about to run a red light. We are so focused on red green and yellow lights we fail to see what is directly in front of us. We fail to actually turn out heads to see what is approaching from left and right.

Just my observations.

    Congrats, and thankyou!

As a licenced motorcycle rider, I have long ago learned to drive defensively. I’m sure that the other motorcycle riders who have posted will agree that defensive driving (riding) is critical to one’s survival on the road!

I’ve often commented that everybody should have to learn how to operate a motorcycle first. It would sure change a few attitudes about defensive driving and the rules of the road!

Unfortunately having everybody learn to ride bikes first would likely increase our already too high death toll!

We collectively have adopted a “rules don’t apply to me” attitude with respect to not just cell phone use, but to all Motor Vehicle Act regulations. The RCMP need to focus on ALL traffic rules and laws, not just the few politically correct enforcements (speeding, seat belt use, cell phone use).

We can’t pick and choose which traffic laws to enforce, because that fosters an attitude that we also get to pick and choose which laws we comply with and which ones we personally choose to ignore!

Those stupid little lap dogs are just as bad or worse than cell phones too, but I have never seen a person with a dog on their lap stopped by the police.

    Maybe it’s a seeing eye dog.

      Two barks, Red light, One bark, Green……..

    I could never figure out how it’s not ok for me to answer my cell phone while operating a vehicle, but it’s ok for the person in the lane next to me to have 1, 2 or even 3 little dogs on their lap?

    Every day I see somebody driving a car while having a dog sit on their lap. Why don’t the RCMP see it and better yet, why are they not ticketing these drivers?

    Not politically incorrect enough perhaps?

    Grizzly you made me Laugh. What’s 3 barks?

      Another dog, a hottie!

I think it should just be the law to have cellphone imobilizers in every licensed vehicle. If the ignition is on then all cellphones within 10 feet are automatically put into airplane mode. Within 6-months everyone would think its the new normaland look back at the old days like we look at smoking in an airplane or hospital today.

Its an easy fix, might need some ICBC subsidies for older vehicles to make it affordable for everyone. A total ban is really the only answer… otherwise its just to easy to think just this one time… we’ve all done it.

    Tamper with an imobilizer and face a vehicle impoundment and inspection before it can be licensed again…..

are you,all saying my wife of 50 plus years cannot text our kids and grand kids while on our way to the O.K. tomorrow because of an immobiliser???I

Comments for this article are closed.