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B.C. To Finally Get Tough on Distracted Drivers

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British Columbia to Finally Get Tough on Distracted Drivers

The government of British Columbia is feeling the sting of public disapproval after a 56-year-old man was arrested with a history of dozens of distracted driving violations. The lackadaisical approach taken towards distracted driving had caused the province to lag behind others such as Ontario which has gone to great lengths at both passing increased fines and devoting police resources to enforce the laws.

Now, the statistics have emerged which are incontrovertible that distracted driving is far more lethal than driving under the influence or reckless driving. In the year 2012, for which the stats are the most recent, 81 people lost their lives in the province as a result of distracted driving. By comparison, 55 people died as a result of driving under the influence. The statistics bear the same conclusion regardless of the province.

Justice Minister Suzanne Anton echoes what many people must certainly feel and that is surprise that tech gadgets such as smartphones would be contributors to fatalities, but the statistics are not lying. For this reason, Anton has said the provincial government will act in order to reduce the threat to civilian safety. She explained that what can be expected are the province to levy higher fines and punishing demerit points. However, these measures are really counter-incentives to distracted driving. The fact is that drunk driving is a criminal offense, and as hard as it is to accept that peeking at a handheld screen should be a criminal offense, it kills more people.

Thus far, no province has taken the step to put distracted driving on par with DUI driving.

U.S. States Cracking Down On Distracted Driving

Canada isn’t the only nation facing issues with distracted driving.

According to KCRA, California Office of Traffic Safety has teamed up with agencies across the country to increase awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

Talking, texting and web browsing are among the biggest distractions that divert a drivers attention away from the road, according to research.

In 2012, 3,328 people died and 421,000 were injured in vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Source:
B.C. to crack down on distracted driving as statistics paint grim picture of death toll
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/distracted-driving-claimed-81-lives-in-bc-in-2012-surpassing-impaired-driving-deaths/article17780087/

Distracted drivers targeted in statewide crackdown
http://www.kcra.com/news/distracted-drivers-targeted-in-statewide-crackdown/25300058