Hergott: Fine raised for driving while using electronic device

Why is the latest crash data, reported in ICBC’s February 2016 report, from 2013 [and still] “not yet fully available”?

As of June 1, a first offence will cost you $543.

It’s the provincial government’s latest road safety initiative.

They’re jacking up the financial consequences of being caught using an electronic device behind the wheel.

Will it make a difference?

Have drivers been ignoring the electronic device prohibition because the fine has been “only” $167?

Can we expect an attitude and behavioural shift to occur when we wake up on June 1?

ICBC publishes crash statistics. Those stats for February show that the number of crashes reported to ICBC from 2010 through 2013 has remained constant, at 260,000 per year.

So will that number go down, with June 1 being the turning point?

We should know very soon, by reviewing the impact (if any) on monthly crash data.

Will there be an effort by our government to collect and publish that crash data in a timely manner?

It should be easy. In this day and age, the data must be immediately available.

The statistic is “crashes reported to ICBC,” so there is no need for extensive data collection work.

Why is the latest crash data, reported in ICBC’s February 2016 report, from 2013?

Oddly, the report even notes that some of the data for 2013 was “not yet fully available.”

I bet any of our huge retailers could tell by the click of a few buttons how many cans of a particular brand of soup was sold yesterday.

Let’s see if timely data is provided so that we can evaluate this initiative.

If it is as impotent a move as I suspect it is, we need to know as soon as possible so that we are not lulled into a false sense that road safety is improving when it really is not.

I wonder how effective the very prohibition of the use of handheld electronic devices has been?

Perhaps it has had negative impacts that have made us even less safe.

One negative impact is lulling British Columbians into the false belief that hands free cell phone use while driving is safe. It’s not.

Another negative impact is drivers being more secretive about their use of handheld electronic devices, below the dash where they can’t be seen.

Eyes that should be on the road are diverted even further away.

How about giving British Columbians the clear message that driving is an inherently dangerous activity that demands our full attention?

How about prohibiting the very existence of a driver’s cell phone within control of the driver?

We do it for “open liquor.” Why not apply the exact same rules for cell phones?

This would have the significant added benefit of giving the law teeth.

Imagine the sense of empowerment that law enforcement officers would have, armed with a law that they can actually enforce.

The current law is being ignored, in large part, because it is so difficult to enforce.

Increased fines won’t make a lick of difference in enforceability.

I would bet my house that we would see a marked decline in crashes with such an initiative.

Regretfully, I would bet my house that we will not with the current initiative.

Just Posted

City of West Kelowna releases survey for cannabis store restrictions

October 17 non-medical cannabis sales will be permitted

City of Kelowna hires new consultant

Bill McKinnon fills the void left by the passing of Rob Mayne

Strong smell of ammonia downtown Kelowna

Fire crews attended the Memorial Arena for a strong smell of ammonia

Hedge goes up in smoke in Lake Country

A Lake Country resident burning weeds had flames spread to a nearby hedge

New summer market hits Kelowna

Craft Culture and Manteo Resort will host a summer market this weekend

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Emerica tears up Penticton Youth Park

Pro skateboarders make summer afternoon even hotter

‘Virtual drugstore’ dealer sentenced in the South Okanagan

A Penticton woman was using the casino as a hub to sell drugs and launder money

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

UPDATE: Wildfire near Lake Country grows to seven hectares

The BC Wildfire Service is responding to a blaze at Dee Lake

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

UPDATE: BC crews respond to two new wildfires

Blazes near Allison and Osoyoos Lakes

Motorcycle driver dies in a head-on collision near Oliver

RCMP said the three vehicle collision, near Road 18, happened around 2:45 p.m. on July 14

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

Most Read