Why B.C. police are cracking down on distracted driving and seat belts in March | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Why B.C. police are cracking down on distracted driving and seat belts in March

Two technology pilots are coming to B.C. to combat distracted driving.
February 27, 2020 - 11:40 AM

As if it needs to be said, put the phone away and buckle up because police in B.C. are paying special attention to both this month.

March is Distracted Driving/Occupant Restraint Awareness Month and B.C. police are ramping up their efforts to catch distracted drivers.

“Fatal and serious injury motor vehicle collisions due to distracted driving are completely preventable and BC RCMP Traffic Services is reminding drivers to keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel,” according to the RCMP in a news release.

According to the release, “distracted driving is responsible for more than 25 per cent of all car crash fatalities and is the second leading cause of fatal collisions in B.C.”

An average of 76 people are killed every year in the province due to distracted driving, the RCMP said in the release.

Distracted driving includes: personal grooming, eating/drinking, reading, playing with pets, talking to other passengers and not knowing your route.

“It all starts with you,” says Supt. Holly Turton, with BC RCMP Traffic Services, in the media release. “Ask yourself if it is worth your life or someone else’s to answer a call, check your email or send that text while you are driving. Please make the right choice when you drive – ignore your phone and drive responsibly – your life may depend on it – and others are depending on you to get to your destination safely.”

The fines for a distracted driving offence start at $368 and 4 penalty points for a minimum of $620. The costs increase with each subsequent offence. In addition, your insurance costs may be affected, according to the RCMP.

Roughly 52 people are killed every year in collisions because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt, according to the RCMP in the release.

Police recommend that you always buckle up even if you are going short distances and the fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $167.

ICBC is also warning drivers to put down their phones.

You can get tips and statistics in an infographic at icbc.com.


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