Distracted Walking “Damn Dangerous” Acknowledges Morris
Prince George, B.C. – B.C.’s top cop has weighed in on a recent poll showing most Canadians would support a distracted walking ban in Canada.
The Insights West poll found 66% of Canadians would support their municipality enacting distracted walking legislation and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris sympathizes with that sentiment (see previous story here).
“That falls a lot within the jurisdiction of municipal governments and I think there is a problem out there and I would encourage them to have a look at that,” he told 250News.
“We may have to look at it ourselves but I think the public needs a wake-up call – it’s damn dangerous to walk down the road with your ear phones plugged into your phone and you’re texting or you’re reading something as you’re walking across an intersection. It’s a recipe for disaster.”
Morris says he’ll wait a while longer to decide whether he’ll enact harsher penalties for distracted drivers.
The province’s touch new distracted driving rules went into effect June 1, 2016 increasing the fine for each distracted driving offense from $167 to $368.
The stiff new fine has also been combined with increased driver penalty premiums and possible driver prohibitions. It means a first offence now costs you a minimum $543.
“I’m waiting to see the results of what we’ve implemented already,” he says. “It only started in June and so I want to see at least a year’s worth of data. But at the end of the day if this isn’t working and the number of fatal accidents and serious injuries associated with distracted driving, I’m going to look at more serious sanctions.”
Like impounding vehicles?
“Well that example has been presented by other media outlets so everything is open,” says Morris, noting extensive public consultations last year showed support for the idea. “So we’ll look at that if need be.”
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.