CTV News reports that Ontario has recently implemented stricter distracted driving fines, now at $490. New rules have also been implemented to protect cyclists, students and tow truck drivers. These go into effect on Tuesday as part of Ontario’s new rules of the road with stiffer distracted driving fines.
BC is at the lower end of the fine scale at $167. But with the recent month long B.C. Government’s distracted driving consultation to gauge the attitude and opinions of B.C. residents, it may only be a matter of time before B.C. drivers have stiffer fines and penalties.
Distracted driving consultation
The input from residents and stakeholders will be analyzed before the government decides whether higher fines or another course of action is implemented. Based on the data, 96% of respondents want to see stiffer penalties and 90% are concerned about distracted driving.
Tiered distracted driving penalties
According to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), distracted driving accounts for 80% of car accidents. “What if the distracted driver who caused the injury or death was the one who had to inform the family?” asks Karen Bowman, Founder & Executive Director, Drop It And Drive. She also suggests following Alaska’s multi-tiered penalty structure for distracted driving, where repeat offenders receive increasingly higher fines. The system in Alaska is such that if a driver kills someone while distracted they can face a $250,000 US fine and up to 20 years in prison.
Survey: distractions are not just in the car
According to the CAA, distractions are not just inside the car. Surprisingly, it’s often activities outside the car that can be a higher source of distraction to the driver such as pedestrians, cyclists, construction, loud noises and even scenery.
“We are hoping that Suzanne Anton, Attorney General of B.C. will have some concrete decisions regarding the distracted laws in Canada – sooner than later. People’s behaviour is not changing and we need laws and fines that will discourage people from causing car accidents in B.C. and risking lives,” says Paul Warnett, Personal Injury Lawyer in Vancouver.
As car accident lawyers here at Warnett Hallen LLP in Vancouver, we are proud to sponsor Drop It And Drive. Prevention is better than having to see the injuries and personal trauma of those who seek our legal services to help with their ICBC accident claim for car accidents in B.C.