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

COSAR attends one search and two rescues over long weekend

Teams searched for a missing cliff jumper, were called out to a sinking boat and an injured ATVer

EDITORIAL: Improving highway safety

Highway 97 has seen plenty of collisions and accidents over the years

Kelowna house and hip hop artist grows in popularity with new single

Edge’s ‘Vice City Vibes’ is available on all streaming platforms now

UPDATE: Rose Valley Dam wildfire in West Kelowna knocked back on all flanks

The fire is three hectares in size and was first reported at around 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 2.

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

VIDEO: Wildfire erupts north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Observers suspect fireworks sparked blaze, Wildfire BC states cause still unknown

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Anonymous letters tell Vancouver Island family their kids are too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in Parksville backyard is ‘unbearable’

Police watchdog investigates Kamloops RCMP after stabbing death

The IIO is investigating the police’s lack of success in locating the man charged in stabbing

Forty-three properties near Dry Lake, along Highway 5A, under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for two days

Wildfire near Merritt creates smoke for drivers on Coquihalla

Coldwater River fire was estimated at seven hectares Aug. 3 and classified as out of control

Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association: Who can’t access your business?

TOTA launches video to encourage proprietors to remove barriers

Most Read