But did you know that distracted driving is now the biggest safety concern on the road today?
As of January 1, 2010, BC law made it illegal for drivers to use hand-held cell phones and other portable electronic devices, including GPS systems, iPods, MP3 players, and more.
It’s even illegal to hold on to an electronic device while driving. Doing so may result in a $167 traffic violation ticket and three ICBC demerit points added to your record.
The only time a portable electronic device can be used is if you are legally parked and not impeding traffic, or to call 911 to report an emergency.
BC’s texting and handheld cell phone bans resulted in 32,665 tickets for distracted driving in the first year. Many of these were issued to drivers for emailing or texting while driving.
Research shows that about 25% of traffic accidents in BC are linked to distracted driving behaviors such as cell phone use. The RCMP says that 32% of the province’s vehicle fatalities in 2010 (104 deaths) were linked to distracted driving, with 45 deaths in Metro Vancouver.
Driving requires your full attention. And it’s important to understand that distracted driving can be as serious as drunk driving. Be sure to put your cell phones and other electronic devices aside when behind the wheel.
For more information:
- British Columbia: Distracted driving news
- Drive Cell Safe
- ICBC Road Safety, Cell phones and driver distractions
- Mounties ticket 2,100 drivers during cell phone crackdown