Distracted driving is known to cause crashes (BPD photo)

Motorists face significant fines for handheld device use

Roughly one-quarter of vehicle collisions in British Columbia are attributed to distracted driving

Members of the Summerland RCMP are reminding motorists to put down their phones or electronic devices or risk hefty fines.

“Unfortunately, we see it more than we’d like to,” said Sgt. Dave Preston of the Summerland RCMP detachment. “We always notice it.”

He said roughly one-quarter of vehicle collisions in British Columbia are attributed to distracted driving, and research shows telephone conversations are much more distracting than in-vehicle conversations.

“Any activity that prevents a driver’s ability to focus on the road – distractions from both inside and outside of the vehicle – can impact a driver’s full observation of the road,” Preston said, “and the Motor Vehicle Act forbids drivers from using smartphones and other electronic devices while driving. However, they can use the hands-free mode on their phone so long as it is mounted on a holder or dock.”

READ ALSO: What exactly counts as distracted driving in B.C.?

READ ALSO: $578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

New drivers with the N designation are not permitted to use electronic devices while driving — even in hands-free mode.

This includes holding the device, operating its functions, communicating through it or watching the screen.

The penalties are significant.

Drivers caught emailing, texting, or using an electronic device while driving face a first-time offence fine of $368 and four points ($210) in their ICBC penalty point premium. That’s a total of $578 in fines.

Even if a smartphone is mounted, a motorist can get a ticket just for touching the device to change the song.

Serious or repeated convictions for distracted driving will result in increased premiums after the first conviction.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Kiera Bourque manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Stranger in truck grabs boy walking home from school in Kelowna

The 11-year-old boy escaped the incident, RCMP are investigating

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read