March 25, 2016 2:07 am
Updated: August 4, 2016 8:13 pm

POLL: Should police seize the phones of chronic distracted drivers?

WATCH: Some people believe police should take away the phones of repeat distracted drivers. But as John Hua reports, doing so might not be that easy.


The B.C. provincial government is considering different remedies to deal with the increasing problem of distracted driving, but one idea first raised three years ago – seizing the phones of repeat offenders – isn’t on the table.

“People can get cell phones five minutes later,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Morris.

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“I don’t think that would really be a deterrent. We’re going to look at increased fines and demerit points.”

READ MORE: What does it take to lose your driver’s licence in B.C.?

The idea was proposed by the B.C Association of Police Chiefs in 2013. They argued that if a distracted driver gets caught twice, they should lose their device for 24 hours – and if they get a third ticket, the phone should be confiscated for three to five days.

“Unless we make the consequences higher, we make it actually meaningful for someone not to think it’s the cost of doing business, it’s not going to change behaviour,” says Neil Dubord, the association’s chair.

Among those happy that the government isn’t reconsidering the Police Chiefs’ proposal is Vancouver lawyer Paul Doroshenko.

“It’s got all of your personal information in it. We’re talking about a huge violation of your privacy,” he said.

READ MORE: Police officers disguised as utility workers catch distracted drivers in North Vancouver

© 2016 Shaw Media

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