Categories: News

B.C.’s distracted driving penalty jumps to $543 June 1

The penalty for using a cell phone while driving just went up today.

Effective June 1, distracted driving offences will result in a $368 fine, and when the $175 penalty points premium by ICBC is added on for the four-penalty-point infraction, that means a minimum $543 fine for first-time offenders.

A second offence within a 12-month period drives the cost up to $888.

Just two weeks ago, B.C. Mounties unveiled a new weapon in their arsenal to catch offending drivers unaware: distracted driving scopes that allow them to see infractions up to 1.2 kilometres away.

The change in rules mean the province now regards distracted driving as a “high-risk driving offence”, on par with excessive speeding, driving without due care and attention, and driving without reasonable consideration.

Repeat offenders will have their driving record subject to automatic review by Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.

For new drivers, first-time offenders who are still driving under the graduated licensing program, face a possible prohibition of up to six months.

Judging from recent enforcement efforts, drivers don’t seem to be getting the message that using their cell phones is illegal.

Last month, officers from the BC RCMP provincial Integrated Road Safety Units doled out 264 tickets on Victoria Day weekend for distracted driving, driving without due care and attention and driving without reasonable consideration, up from 199 a year earlier.

In March, a road safety unit in Kelowna handed out 37 violation tickets for distracted driving in less than three hours.

 

Martin Van Den Hemel

Leave a Comment
Share
Published by
Martin Van Den Hemel

Recent Posts

RCMP not responsible for death of helmetless motorcycle rider in Okanagan

Independent Investigations Office of BC announces findings into fatal crash near Grindrod Aug. 30

39 mins ago

Westbank First Nation captures economic development award

Ntityix Development Corporation was handed the Aboriginal Economic Development Corporation Award

51 mins ago

Okanagan temperatures hit 30 C by end of September

The autumn equinox takes place in the northern hemisphere on Sept. 22

1 hour ago

Okanagan talent airs for Top of the Country

Raquel Cole semi-finalist in SiriusXM contest with Canadian Country Music Association

2 hours ago

‘Ain’t no basic batch’: Kraft Dinner announces limited-edition pumpkin spice flavour

KD’s classic powdered cheese meets cinnamon and nutmeg

2 hours ago

Major Highway 1 upgrades near Golden inches closer to construction

Construction is expected to last for four years

2 hours ago