Getting caught driving distracted could soon cost you significantly more. Despite heavy fines and increased number of distracted driving related accidents, distracted driving is still on the rise. In an effort to reduce distracted driving and keep BCs roads safer, ICBC is targeting distracted drivers with higher Driver Risk Premium (DRP) penalties. Effective March 2018 Distracted Driving will be designated a high-risk behaviour and the financial penalties will be increasing as a result. Two distracted driving tickets within a three year period could result in financial penalties close to $2000. To learn more about the fines and points for distracted driving, visit ICBC – Taking Action on Road Safety.
Increasing DRP penalties is only one initiative in ICBC’s fight against distracted driving. They are also investing resources to research two new technologies to discourage and limit the dangerous behaviour. ICBC has partnered with the provincial government to test phone applications paired with telematics. When the in-vehicle telematics sense the vehicle is being driven, the app blocks the use of the cell phone. The research findings could inform future decisions around insurance rates as well as distracted driving prevention and enforcement.
The second initiative ICBC is researching in partnership with the police and government is a blue-tooth enabled scope. Police can use the scope to capture an image of the distracted driver and instantly share it with other officers in the area. Police will have the ability to show this image to the distracted driver. This can result in great enforcement aimed to reduce distracted driving.
ICBC and the provincial government are taking distracted driving seriously. Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General states “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. 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.”
To learn more about ICBC’s initiatives aimed to reduce accidents caused by distracted driving visit www.icbc.com/about-icbc/newsroom/Pages/2017-Nov28.aspx.