Province, ICBC, police getting creative in curbing distracted driving - InfoNews

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Province, ICBC, police getting creative in curbing distracted driving

Two technology pilots are coming to B.C. to combat distracted driving.
November 29, 2017 - 6:30 AM

If you are someone who likes to used handheld devices while driving, two pilot programs are being launched next year to prevent or catch you in the act.

The Insurance Corporation of B.C. says they are working with the provincial government and the police to see if technology can stop distracted driving.

"Distracted driving is a serious high-risk behaviour, which is now responsible for more than 25 per cent of all car crash fatalities in our province," says the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. "If new technology can help police and drivers alike put an end to distracted driving, then we'll have helped to make roads safer in B.C."

The first pilot program uses phone apps paired with telematics. They fit a vehicle with a small device that communicates with an app installed on the driver's cellphone. When the car is being driven, the app would block the use of devices.

The Insurance Corporation of B.C. says they will use the findings from the pilots "to inform future decisions around distracted driving prevention and enforcement, as well as changes to improve the fairness of how insurance rates are set."

This first pilot is set to launch in the new year.

For a chance to participate in this program you should join ICBC's customer advisory panel.

The second pilot program works with the government and the police to test a new distracted driving enforcement technology which is expected to begin in the spring of 2018.

ICBC says police will have a Bluetooth-enabled scope to capture distracted driving.

"The scope will capture an image that can be instantly shared with other officers in the immediate area," the Insurance Corporation of B.C. says in the release. "That officer will then have the ability to show the image to the distracted driver."

"Distracted driving is a high-risk behavior that jeopardizes the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike," says David Eby, Minister responsible for ICBC and Attorney General. "These pilots are the first step in a thoughtful examination of the role technology can play in preventing distracted driving. I look forward to the results to help us better understand their potential to influence driver behaviour and inform changes so insurance rates are set fairly."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Taylor Rae or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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