Statistics obtained by Global News by the Insurance Corporation of B.C. show areas like Fort St. John and the Peace all have fairly high distracted driving rates, while Dawson Creek is not far behind. The data was collected by postal code over the 17 months since the distracted driving law came into effect in the province on Jan. 1, 2010. The law makes it illegal for drivers to use handheld devices, such as cell phones. Drivers caught using their phones face a $167 fine, which can be increased to include three penalty points if they are caught texting or emailing.
According to the numbers there are 19,272 licensed drivers in the Peace Region and there were 414 cases of distracted driving, amounting to 21.48 per 1,000 drivers. In Fort St. John, that number was slightly higher with an incident rate of 22.55 and Dawson Creek was slightly lower at 17.04.
However, those figures are nowhere near some of the incidence rates recorded in the lower mainland, with downtown Vancouver having the highest number of ticketed distracted drivers at 36.99 per 1,000 licensed drivers or Northwest Mission coming in at 33.49.
Yet, Global reports that the President and CEO of the BCAA Road Safety Foundation, Allan Lamb, says the numbers could be a result of police enforcement being stricter in some areas than in others.
The map below shows all the data collected by Global BC for every postal code in the Province.