[caption id="attachment_80791" align="aligncenter" width="480"] B.C. Distracted Drivers May Face Bigger Fines Says Justice Minister[/caption]Justice Minister Suzanne Anton reports that the dramatic increase of deaths attributed to motor vehicle drivers who are distracted by cellphones and other electronic devices may require the B.C. Government to slap bigger fines on drivers exhibiting poor safety habits while on the roadways.
According to Anton, recent statistics show that deaths attributed to distracted driving now outnumber deaths on the highways due to driving under the influence by about one-third. Anton says that although most people who get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle realize the consequences that can result from drinking and driving, there is still much more education that needs to take place to put the same emphasis on the dangers of distracted driving.
Anton says she has instructed the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles in British Columbia to study what options are available in the way of making fines for distracted drivers much stiffer in order to report back to her before the end of 2014.
Current fines for any driver who police officers find is using any type of hand-held electronic device, including a cell phone, is $167 for the first offense. Drivers who insist on sending e-mails or texting while they are operating a motor vehicle may also find that they accrue penalty points on their driving record.
Any B.C. driver who exceeds a total of three points on his driving record within a 12-month period receives a bill in the amount of $175 from the Insurance Corp. of B.C. If a driver fails to pay any due fines, the ICBC is within its rights to suspend that driver's license in addition to refuse to renew their annual vehicle registration. Anton says she believes more drivers will take distracted driving seriously if she increases the fines and amount of points levied against offenders.