It’s not quite “naming and shaming” – but Richmond RCMP took a new tactic this week to raise awareness about distracted driving.
The fact a Metro Vancouver driver could have 12 distracted driving penalties in five years and not be taken off the road concerns MLA Mike Farnworth, justice critic for the NDP.
“It’s just complete and utter disbelief, that anybody could be that ignorant and get 12 infractions,” he says.
“People like this individual with 12 infractions, they need to be off the road, penalties that nail them in the pocket book, and they lose their license.”
ICBC says one in four deaths on B.C. roads involves distracted driving, and is now the second leading cause of car crash deaths in B.C., with 88 people killed each year on average.
In B.C., using your phone while driving carries a $167 fine – the second lowest figure in Canada.
Ontario recently passed legislation to change the maximum fine to $1,000.And in Nova Scotia, fines were increased from $176 to $234 for a first offence, and from $350 to $579 for any subsequent offences this February.
But changes are on the horizon, said Justice Minister Suzanne Anton last month.
“We are having a look at it in government and there may be some changes in the penalties, because we need people to get off their devices. When you are driving, you have to concentrate on the task at hand and that is driving,” said Justice Minister Suzanne Anton.
“There will likely be changes to the penalty structure, but those remained to be seen and announced…stay tuned.”
– With files from Paula Baker