The B.C. government wants to toughen up distracted driving rules, but don’t expect penalties to rise just yet.
Currently, the maximum fine for using a handheld electronic device stands at $167 and three penalty points.
The government notes this is currently the second-lowest maximum penalty in the country.
The Ministry of Justice also notes that last year, over 55,000 tickets were handed out for distracted driving in 2014. That’s up from about 53,000 in 2013.
“We’ve heard the calls that people want more protection from distracted drivers and we agree there’s more work to be done,” read a statement from Attorney General Suzanne Anton.
NDP Justice Critic Mike Farnworth was critical of the government’s decision to hold a public input process, and said stronger laws were required immediately.
“The attorney general has been promising action for more than a year, and now she’s wasting another month on this website gimmick,” a statement from Farnworth read.
The public consultation period ends on July 16. The website for public input can be found at engage.gov.bc.ca/distracteddriving