Distracted Driving penalties to increase

VICTORIA, B.C. – Those caught texting while driving in this province are a mere three weeks away from much stiffer penalties for defying the laws against distracted driving.

Beginning June first the cumulative fine total for three offences in one year will be well over $3,000 and licence suspensions of 3 to 12 months could also be a consequence.

It’s welcome news for those who have been advocating for years the government needs to do more to discourage distracted drivers, and that would include Karen Bowman, who founded the group “Drop It & Drive.”

Speaking of law enforcement there is an interesting new distracted driving technology being examined in New York.

Ben Lieberman, lost his son in a suspected distracted driving crash, and is now backing legislation which would enable New York police to use “textalyzer” technology to determine if a driver was texting, prior to being stopped, instead of being forced to get a warrant or subpoena to check cell phone records.

For those with privacy concerns, in discussing the legislation Mr. Lieberman says…

This idea has also caught the fancy of the NDP public safety critic here in BC and Mike Farnworth is inclined to favor examination of all types of emerging distracted driving technology…

Mr. Farnworth is also in favor of automatic license suspensions for three time distracted driving offenders.