In 2010 BC banned the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving. Despite crackdowns, distracted driving remains a serious problem.
Chief Constable Neil Dubord stated, “BC drivers know it’s against the law, but far too many still make excuses for their behaviour, and put themselves and others at risk by using their phone while driving.”
The fine for using hand-held electronic devices is $167 and three points on your driving record. If the driver is in the Novice stage and has to serve a driving prohibition, the 24 month Novice period will start again from the beginning once the prohibition is complete.
Drivers can also be charged with dangerous driving under section 249 of the Criminal Code. The penalty is a maximum of:
- 5 years imprisonment for dangerous driving;
- 10 years imprisonment for dangerous driving causing bodily harm; or
- 14 years imprisonment for dangerous driving causing death.
In addition to the possibility of imprisonment, other consequences of dangerous driving include:
- a criminal record;
- licence suspension;
- driving probation; and
- increased insurance rates.
If you are charged under the Criminal Code, ICBC may find you in breach of your insurance policy under section 75 the Insurance (Vehicle) Act. You may lose your right to have ICBC defend you in a lawsuit for damages that result from a collision. This means you will be personally liable for the damages.
Distracted driving is a choice. Make the smart choice. Put your phone away.
For More Information
- B.C. Government Hints at Bigger Penalties for Distracted Driving, Global News
- Death and Distracted Driving, Slater Vecchio Connected
- Distracted Driving, ICBC
- Driver Penalty Point Premium, ICBC
- One in Four Deaths on BC Roads Involve Distracted Driving, ICBC
- Vancouver Police Want to see Distracted Driver Have her License Suspended, Global News