February is the month of love, so love the next driver and put away the distractions. Across BC, the RCMP and other police departments are stepping up enforcement for distracted driving.
We’ve been blogging for years about distracted driving, but according to the RCMP, an average of 91 people die per year across BC. Why is the message not getting across?
Distracted driving rules
- drivers using an electronic device without a hands-free option face a fine of $167;
- drivers who text or email while driving receive three ICBC driver penalty points;
- drivers who display an N or L are not permitted to use any electronic device, even hands free.
This is where I find the law a bit fuzzy. Cpl. Robert McDonald of “E” Division Traffic Services states, “If you need to make a phone call on a cellular phone, use a hands-free device that can be operated with one touch.” But what phone allows you to push just one button to make a call? I use an iphone and I have to type in my password – 4 keystrokes, and hit the home key while shouting out instructions to Suri. Even if I use my speed-dial it is never one touch. Why should a more experienced driver get the privilege of using a hands-free device?
Put the phone away
It has been proven that a driver cannot multi-task while driving. Cognitive impairment has nothing to do with age or driving experience. The rules are the rules and should be the same across the board. “As Vancouver car accident lawyers, we would like the law to be clear and simple”, says Mark Lyons. “We recommend and advocate to put the phone away – in your glove box or trunk, where you are not distracted by it.”
The bottom line is: love yourself and your fellow driver and do everyone a favor – keep your eyes on the road and your mind in the game.