Are You Ready To Put Down The Phone? BC Legislates A Cell Phone Ban

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“Hey, what are you doing? Do you want me to call you back?” “No, its no big deal, I am just driving.”

This describes the busy lives of so many of us. What makes us think we will not be one of the careless drivers? Is it human nature to take risks? How about the lives of families who have changed in that one moment when a serious car crash has injured or killed a loved one? Was it really important to make dinner reservations while driving? It should be common sense not to take these kind of risks.

These actions are conducted everyday, by thousands of drivers. Reflect on the research:

  • On average, about 117 people die each year in British Columbia and approximately 1400 are sent to the hospital because of driver distraction.
  • Drivers who text spend 400 per cent more time with their eyes off the road than a normal motorist.
  • People who talk on a phone while driving are four times more likely to crash.

But in our society it takes legislation to make people personally responsible for their actions and the safety of others.

On January 1, 2010 BC motorists will be legislated to put down the phone, the blackberry, portable games and MP3 players. Adult drivers will still have the privilege of using “hands-free” devices, such as earpieces and speakerphones. To dial a number you must use verbal or one-touch dialing. New drivers, however, will be banned from using phones or sending messages, even with a hands-free device.

Drivers caught texting or e-mailing will be fined $167.00 after February 1, 2010 and have three penalty points added to their licences. New drivers who violate any part of the rules will receive three points. To continue driving, people who accumulate more than three points must pay a penalty points premium to ICBC.

This is a good time to take a stock of your driving habits. What else do you do that is distracting? It can be the simple things like referring your kids argument, eating a sandwich, spilling your hot coffee, applying lipstick, or worse reading or checking your computer. Take on your own responsibility for your actions. Become an engaged defensive driver. Be safe, arrive alive.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to the carelessness of others while operating a motor vehicle, call Klein Lawyers for a free consultation on your rights to compensation.

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