Talking on a cellphone makes a driver four times as likely to be in a crash

New crackdown aims to curb distracted drivers

Cellphone talking or texting third top crash cause after speeding, drinking

ICBC and police are revving up their campaign against distracted driving, saying it’s now the third leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C.

Enforcement is being stepped up for the Labour Day weekend and officers will be checking for distracted drivers throughout September.

The crackdown came as a new Ipsos Reid poll was released showing 40 per cent of cellphone owners admit they’ve recently used their hand-held phone while driving despite overwhelming acceptance distracted driving is risky, especially texting.

“The ability to connect with anyone at any time through our mobile phones has led to a serious problem on our roads,” Justice Minister Shirley Bond said.

Police say many drivers try to hide their mobile devices from view by using them from their laps but officers will use a variety of tactics to bust them and hand out $167 fines.

The poll shows cellphone use behind the wheel in the past six months is much higher among younger B.C. drivers –  52 per cent of 18- to 25-year-olds, 48 per cent of 26- to 50-year-olds, 29 per cent of 51- to 65-year-olds and 17 per cent of seniors.

A quarter of all fatal crashes in B.C. are linked to distracted driving – about 94 deaths per year – making it the third top cause after speeding and impaired driving.

ICBC also cited U.S. findings that drivers who talk on hand-held cellphones are four times more likely to crash, and 23 times more likely to crash if texting.

Free downloadable ringtones designed to encourage drivers to resist the urge to answer the phone are being offered by ICBC. The tunes (available at icbc.com/drivesmart) span various genres and include “Road of No Replies,” “Missed Call Master” and “Let it Ring, Baby.”

Just Posted

Water upgrade work starts in Harrison

Participation compulsory for impacted properties

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

Trial date scheduled for man charged with killing Abbotsford officer

Oscar Arfmann slated to go to trial in New Westminster in January 2019

Union files human rights complaint over Chilliwack school trustee’s LGBTQ comments

Board and trustee Barry Neufeld facing $50,000 tribunal charge over alleged ‘unsafe work environment’

Men accused in Michael Bonin’s murder knew him: IHIT

20-year-old’s body found on a rural service road North of Hope in April

Find Your Fit tour comes to Agassiz

Gives students hands-on experience with career-planning tools

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Council tells TransLink commission to make sure road pricing is fair

Maple Ridge tells road pricing commission to make sure system is fair

Sunwing vacation passengers left at Abbotsford airport

YXX staffers receive praise for help to passengers; airline criticized

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Most Read