Leave the phone alone: B.C. cops on the lookout for distracted drivers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Leave the phone alone: B.C. cops on the lookout for distracted drivers

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
February 25, 2021 - 1:30 PM

ICBC along with the province's police forces have some words of advice - leave your cell phone alone when behind the wheel.

A recent Ipsos survey conducted for ICBC found 95 per cent of drivers believe texting is risky while driving, 88 per cent believe it’s dangerous to talk and 80 per cent feel just looking at a cell phone can be dangerous behaviour, but 38 per cent admit using their phone at least once in every ten trips.

More than 455,000 motorists have been issued tickets for using an electronic device while behind the wheel by B.C police officers since the distracted driving law came into effect in January, 2010, according to an ICBC media release.

Statistics indicate one in four fatal crashes involve distracted driving, claiming 78 lives each year. An average 31 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior each year.

A distracted driving campaign is ramping up for March with community volunteers setting up Cell Watch deployments to remind drivers to leave their phones alone.

The campaign comes with radio ads, digital advertising and social media, and police will be out looking for drivers on their phones.

Distracted driving is the second leading contributing factor to traffic fatalities in B.C. behind speeding and impaired driving. It’s the top contributing factor in police-reported injury crashes.

"Even short glances away from the road increases your risk of crashing. Safer roads start with every driver making a conscious decision to focus on the road and leave their phones alone. Let's all do our part to create a safer driving culture in B.C.,” ICBC vice president public affairs and driver licensing Lindsay Matthews said in a press release issued today, Feb. 25.

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