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October 27, 2017 10:37 pm

Leave the Phone Alone

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The Province’s tough new distracted driving rules go into effect today.

Each distracted driving offense will now be calculated using the fine of $368 (up from $167) combined with increasing driver penalty premiums and possible driving prohibitions.

As 250News reported last month, the new rules are as follows:

  • Base fine (for distracted driving) has increased to $368
  • The number of penalty points for each infraction is now four (up from three)
  • ICBC driver penalty points start at $175 for the first four penalty points and escalate to a minimum $520 for a second offence within the same 12-month period
  • A first offence will cost you a minimum $543
  • Repeat offenders, upon a second offence within one year will pay the $368 fine plus $520 for a total of $888 in financial penalties which increase with any additional offence

Distracted driving is now considered a high-risk driving offence, which makes it equivalent to excessive speeding, driving without due care and attention and driving without reasonable consideration. Repeat offences could result in a three to 12 month driving prohibition.

Graduated Licensing Program drivers guilty of a distracted driving offence could face a driving prohibition of up to six months.

According to the provincial government, distracted driving and inattention was a contributing factor in killing 66 people and seriously injuring 630 more on provincial roads in 2014.

A provincial review last year indicated 90% of respondents supported stronger financial penalties for distracted driving.


So many times I’ve wanted to reach through someone’s window, grab their phone and chuck in the ditch.

    It’s amazing more people aren’t caught with cell phones while driving. I see this activity happening more and more, not less.

But you couldn’t because your hands were full handling your Tim Horton’s coffee cup.

    Considering the down votes it is apparent that some of you have an issue understanding sarcasm. Also, obtuse enough to think there is a functional difference between driving with a hot coffee in your hand and holding a cell phone when it comes to distraction.

    Maybe the government should ban radios in cars. I mean how many people have been killed or injured while trying to change the channel or adjust their car radio? Why no study on that? Because it might show there are more fatalities from that simple act than from talking on a cell phone?

    Actually, they should just make it illegal to get out of bed, because as soon as people are up they may actually do something that will get themselves or someone else killed or injured.

Its to bad the base fine is only $368.

**If you have 10 Thousand regulations you lose all respect for the law** Winston Churchill.

    Winston was smart enough to never use his old wooden cell phone while driving. :)

    The idiots in our society are the reason laws are needed.
    For the few without common sense and good judgement.

Yet the cops can talk on a cell phone while driving, I guess all the studies proving how talking on a cell phone while driving is distracting and slows reaction times does not affect them.

    Anything a civilian can do, the police can do better.

    So, if they are communicating to catch an offender in your neighborhood, or looking for a lost child, they shouldn’t use their cell? Right……..

What we are trying to do here is regulate peoples behavior by fining them and giving them points for distracted driving.

You have to read between the lines on this issue to get a better sense as to what is actually taking place.

As an example they say that distracted driving and inattention was a contributing factor in 66 deaths and 630 serious injuries. They do not say how many deaths or injuries were the actual result of texting or talking on the phone. Furthermore they state that 90% of the respondents to a survey favoured increasing fines. 7536 people actually responded to this question so roughly 7000 favoured increases in fines.

Throwing numbers around is nothing new for Governments, however its time we had some actual facts, and some improvements. We could in fact make a case that the Government itself is responsible for some of these accidents because by making talking on the phone illegal people went to talking and texting covertly, and thus are now more distracted than they were when they could talk on the phone legally.

In any event we have prohibition to show us that making some things illegal actually increases the number of people breaking the law. This could be the case for distracted driving. Perhaps we should reevaluate the whole situation.

    Sorry Palopu, but I am not buying into your theory.
    People’s ever growing dependance on mobile devices is making distracted driving a serious safety concern. If the general public were good at “self control”, drunk driving would not be as enforced or penalized as it is today. Had the seatbelt regulation not been brought into effect, alot more people would have more serious injuries from car accidents.

    “…because by making talking on the phone illegal people went to talking and texting covertly, and thus are now more distracted than they were when they could talk on the phone legally.”

    Something Donald Rumsfeld might have come up with when he was doing his famous spins.

A fine does nothing to curb the activity of texting or yammering on a cell phone while driving.

Young people don’t think they will be caught, soccer moms are too busy and already distracted by their ‘stick’ family as depicted on the back window of their mini-van.

Older business types and contractors count a fine as just another cost of doing business.

What does get their attention is impoundment of the vehicle for a month along with associated costs.

Government is still not serious about this.

    The vehicle impoundment thing stopped me from excessive speeding. 10km over is the max I go now. No way in hell I can go without a vehicle for a week. Nevermind the impound cost. It could cost me my job. This is what should be done. Take their vehicles away. Start with 7 days and a huge fine. then 30 days and so on and so forth.

    you are correct Codger, government is not serious about this. Why would they be serious about it, there is money to be made after all! Impound is a very good regulator.

What’s interesting is punishment is known as operant conditioning. In order for a punishment to be effective, it must happen within seconds of the offending behavior. A ticket really isn’t a punishment, it’s the paying of the fine and the penalty points, which happens much later. It’s like using a credit card. You really don’t feel you spent money until the cheque has to be written to pay the bill, and by that time, the behavior that caused the debt has long past, so you are doomed to repeat it. That’s why they say if you want to get out of debt, pay cash for everything. When you see your wallet of money shrinking, you conserve it. That’s also why there are so many credit card incentive programs.

But I digress. The only effective way of dealing with texting and driving, is to seize the phone. The punishment is immediate and appropriate to the offense.

And then, there’s the probability of enforcement. As many of us lament on this site, traffic enforcement is rare indeed. So what use is a bigger stick, if there is no one to swing it.

Likely RCMP will be reactive. After the accident, they’ll determine if cell phone was in use, and issue a ticket then. Not much good if you’re the one that Tiffany Texter crashed into.

    lol behavourism

    Human cognition includes the ability to learn from temporally-distant phenomena.

Dogs on laps?

It seems stupid that cops talk on their phones, and use their laptops while driving. Over regulation is annoying for sure, but the undeniable fact is, texting while driving is ridiculously unsafe. As is using your phone in hand. Talking on a handsfree device is completely different.

A good looking woman in a short skirt walking down the street can be distracting as well, ooops I forgot this is Prince George, never mind..

    I’ve seen many in PG wearing shorts skirts. Good looking woman in short skirts are few and far between.

I’ve taken to honking my horn at offenders when I see them to make sure I have their attention and they’re aware of my presence in the intersection, etc. Some get quite indignant but I don’t care.

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