Police targeting distracted drivers in March

Every year, on average, 32 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior

Police across B.C. are targeting distracted driving this March.

Police across B.C. are targeting distracted driving this March.

Insurance Corporation of B.C.

Every year, on average, 32 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior.

On Feb. 27, the B.C. government, ICBC and police launched a month-long distracted driving campaign. While most B.C. drivers are leaving their phones alone, some still aren’t getting the message.

Distracted driving is the second leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C. with an average of 88 people killed each year. That’s why police across the province are cracking down on distracted drivers in March.

“Distracted driving is a significant concern for B.C. road safety – and one to be considered as seriously as impaired driving or excessive speeding,” said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “Last year, government added three penalty points to the $167 fine for talking on an electronic device, and as we monitor the impact of this action, may consider further sanctions to combat this dangerous driving behaviour. I encourage British Columbians to talk with family, friends and co-workers about the dangers of distracted driving, and the laws in place to keep everyone safe on our roads.”

Community policing Cell Watch volunteers will be roadside reminding drivers to leave their phones alone and ICBC road safety coordinators will be visiting community events with a driving simulator that the public can try. Customers can pick up a decal to display on their vehicle at ICBC driver licensing offices and participating Autoplan broker offices to take a stand against distracted driving and encourage others on the road to do the same. The campaign also includes television and radio advertising as well as social media.

At the launch, WorkSafeBC also kicked off the inaugural Road Safety at Work Week, which runs March 2 to 6, and focuses on distracted driving. Crashes are a leading cause of worker fatalities in B.C.