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B.C. Distracted-Driving Laws Might be Ineffective

With distracted driving a leading cause of death and serious personal injuries, many jurisdictions, including British Columbia, have introduced stiff penalties for the infraction. But a recent analysis from the World Health Organization (WHO) found little evidence that many of these laws targeting distracted driving are actually effective, at least to the full extent that they are intended to be, as reported by News 1130 here in B.C.

The WHO concluded that tough fines against distracted driving in countries that have implemented them have not significantly reduced the number of instances of drivers talking or texting on handheld devices while behind the wheel. More specifically, injuries resulting from distracted driving have not dramatically decreased in many of these countries since new laws were created.

The issue is particularly pertinent in B.C. since the province recently instituted the toughest laws against distracted driving in Canada, increasing the fine for first-time offenders to $368 and an additional $175 in demerit points (with further penalties for repeat offenders).

Commentators suggest the root of the problem is a lack of public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Instead—or on top of—simply increasing the dollar amount of a fine, police and government should be more proactive in educating the public about true costs of distracted driving.

Indeed, a distracted driver is four times as likely as a non-distracted driver to be involved in a car accident, thus also significantly increasing the odds of injuring or killing themselves or other drivers, cyclists or pedestrians.

And with the fresh data of the efficacy of B.C.’s new law showing that distracted driving hasn’t gone away in the Lower Mainland, the threat of being injured by a careless driver within Metro Vancouver still looms large.

If you are ever harmed or injured in a car accident from the thoughtless actions of a distracted driver, contact BLW Lawyers today. We are experienced in personal-injury insurance law and have expertly fought ICBC for fair settlements for a combined 50+ years. Call us today at 604-689-3883 or email us at info@BLWlawyers.com for more information.

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