VANCOUVER, B.C. – ICBC and police continue to urge drivers across the province to leave their phones alone while behind the wheel.
According to a new Ipsos survey, most drivers believe that texting, talking, or just looking at your phone while driving is a risky move but, 38 per cent of drivers admit to their phone once every ten trips.
British Columbia’s distracted driving law came into effect in January 2010, and over 455,000 tickets have been issued to drivers for the use of electronic devices while driving.
According to an ICBC release, one in four fatal crashes on B.C. roads and highways involve distracted driving. Distracted driving claims around 78 lives each year.
In March, police across the province will be kicking up distracted driving enforcement, and community volunteers will be setting up Cell Watch deployments.
Superintendent Holly Turton, Vice-Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee, says, “Police across the province continue to put a strong focus on removing distracted drivers from our roads to help keep British Columbia’s roads safe. When you get behind the wheel, you are responsible for the care and control of that vehicle and the safety of all those around you – that means there is no time for distractions like your cellphone, even when stopped in traffic. Keep your eyes and focus on the road because no distraction is worth the risk of causing preventable serious injuries or deaths.”
ICBC says in the release that distracted driving is the second leading contributor to traffic deaths in the province, just behind speeding and slightly ahead of impaired driving. It’s also one of the top factors in police-reported injury crashes.