New distracted driving rules now in effect, Report
New distracted driving rules now in effect, Report

New distracted driving rules now in effect, Report

This would be a good time to quit texting while driving: Increased fines for distracted driving kick in today.

As the Saanich Police traffic unit tweeted: “Time for motorists to leave their phones etc alone. Put dog in back seat. Coffee cup rests in cup holder not hand.”

Under the new rules, a distracted driving offence in the province will cost a motorist $368 and four penalty points. This is up from three penalty points and a fine of $167. A driver will also have to pay an additional $175 for penalty point premiums, meaning, a first-time offender will be paying $543 in financial penalties.

Repeat offenders, upon a second offence within 12 months, will pay the $368 fine plus $520 for a total of $888 in financial penalties. Penalty points will escalate to a minimum of $520 for a second offence within the same 12-month period.

Distracted driving is now considered a high-risk driving offence, which makes it equivalent to excessive speeding or driving without due care and attention. Repeat offenders will have their driving record subject to automatic review, which could result in a three-to-12 month driving prohibition.

Last month, officers from the BC RCMP provincial Integrated Road Safety Units doled out 264 tickets on Victoria Day weekend for distracted driving, driving without due care and attention and driving without reasonable consideration, up from 199 a year earlier.

In March, a road safety unit in Kelowna handed out 37 violation tickets for distracted driving in less than three hours.


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