A fall session will cap an unusually busy year for the B.C. legislature

Careless driving, smoking penalties on way

Premier Christy Clark to recall the B.C. legislature Sept. 28, the third legislative sitting of the year

VICTORIA – The B.C. legislature is being recalled Sept. 28 for a fall session that will likely deal with increasing penalties for distracted driving and careless smoking.

The B.C. government has signalled its intention to increase penalties in both areas. Justice Minister Suzanne Anton announced preliminary results of public consultation on distracted driving penalties at the end of June, with 90 per cent of respondents calling for stiffer penalties for using smartphones while driving.

Anton said the current $167 ticket for distracted drivers is not sufficient for repeat offenders, who could have their vehicles impounded. Saskatchewan has introduced a one-week seizure of the vehicle for drivers who get two distracted driving tickets less than a year apart.

After dry conditions sparked an early start to the B.C. forest fire season, Forests Minister Steve Thomson announced a review of penalties for violating campfire bans and tossing lit cigarettes.

Thomson appointed Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris, a former RCMP superintendent, to lead a similar review of those penalties. Morris said he was considering the vehicle impoundment option for careless tossing of cigarette butts, and prohibiting people from camping in provincial parks if they violate campfire restrictions.

Fire bans allow use of camp stoves or barbecues with briquets for cooking, but conservation officers continue to find people lighting wood fires that give off sparks and can spread in dry conditions.

The fall session will complete an unusually busy year for the B.C. legislature, which was recalled in July to authorize a project development agreement for the Pacific Northwest LNG gas export project proposed for Prince Rupert.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erris department will launch junior firefighter program with help of grant

This past November, the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen (CFSOS)… Continue reading

Summerland Steam earn one win, one loss in hockey action

Junior B team in third place in division

Pioneer families lived in Summerland’s Prairie Valley area

Darke and Dale families played roles in community’s early history

UPDATE: Princeton RCMP make arrest in armed robbery after ‘brief struggle’

Princeton RCMP have arrested a suspect in connection with an armed robbery… Continue reading

Robbery at Princeton Petro Canada Station

Princeton RCMP are investigating an armed robbery at the Petro Canada Station… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

South Okanagan ski hill reports ex-employee to RCMP, closes lift amid investigation

‘We are actively investigating and dealing with the actions of a former employee,’ said the resort

John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce on display at Royal BC Museum

The classic car has been a favourite for Beatles fans from Victoria and internationally

Coastal GasLink stresses pipeline ‘on a schedule’ as B.C. appoints liaison for Wet’suwet’en

670-kilometre pipeline is schedule to be completed by end of 2023

North Okanagan parent sounds alarm over ketamine and pill parties

RCMP have been notified and are investigating

Penticton woman wins $500,000 lotto prize

Anna Fodor collected $500,000 with her winning ticket

Furstenau flays NDP as she launches B.C. Green Party leadership bid

LNG, Site C dam wrong for environment, Cowichan MLA says

Fire burns through unit at Penticton motel

Quick response from the Penticton Fire Department caught the blaze before it could spread

Most Read