The province, ICBC and local police have launched a safety campaign educating the public of the dangers of using their electronic devices while driving.
A recent Ipsos Reid survey shows that BC drivers consider texting while driving more risky than drinking and driving.
It also showed that of 89 per cent of drivers who own a cell phone, 38 per cent have admitted to using one while driving. According to the Vancouver Sun, the number of tickets handed to BC drivers caught using a smartphone or electronic device on the road has more than doubled during the past four years.
ICBC is also blaming distracted driving for a proposed 5.2 per cent increase to basic insurance rates. They say the increase is needed “due to ongoing pressure from increasing injury claims costs, which cover payouts for pain and suffering, future care and loss of wages.”
As part of the campaign, “Leave Your Phone Alone” ads are circulating warning drivers that they are four times more likely to crash while using their phones. Enforcement is also being ramped up on the roads.
“We are asking drivers to leave their phones alone and stay focused on the road.” says Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. ”A text or a call is not worth risking your life over."
For more information:
- BC government, ICBC and police launch distracted driving campaign, ICBC
- Distracted Driving, ICBC
- BC police blitz set to target cellphone use, The Vancouver Sun