British Columbia’s tough distracted driving penalties are about to get tougher.
During a two-day conference led by RoadSafetyBC, ICBC, and government agencies, Justice Minister Suzanne Anton revealed that the province has plans to put tougher penalties in place in an effort to decrease the number of deadly accidents related to distracted driving.
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“Distracted driving is one of the big causes of death on our highways,” said Anton. “So we will be bringing in new penalties over the next couple months.”
While she didn’t reveal exactly how tough the new penalties will be, she did mention that the province is looking to increase both fines and driver penalty points for those using hand-held devices while operating a vehicle.
The current punishment is a $167 ticket, and three penalty points, which happens to be the second the lowest distracted driving fine in Canada, next to Quebec where fines range from $115 – $145, and four penalty points. Prince Edward Island has the heftiest fines, with tickets ranging from $500 – $1200, and five penalty points. Nunavut is the only Canadian province with no regulations for distracted driving.
While the current system has had a major impact, Anton believes the province can still do better, and aims to make B.C.’s roads the safest in North America by 2020.
“There were still 290 deaths on our roads in British Columbia last year. We need to change that; 290 deaths is 290 people who didn’t go home to their families.”
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