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Police Increase Surveillance for Distracted Driving Month in B.C.

March is Distracted Driving Month in B.C., and in many parts of the province, police officers were out in full force to mark the occasion ahead of schedule, delivering blitzkrieg-type campaigns to ticket drivers, as evidenced by this news story out of Kelowna.

In just a one-day period, police ticketed almost 100 drivers in the region in a build-up to the province-wide campaign.

Distracted Driving Month is an annual month-long campaign in the province to both raise awareness about the growing dangers of distracted driving and give police the opportunity to amplify their enforcement of laws against distracted driving.

During last year’s campaign, Vancouver Police issued over 1,600 tickets alone for distracted driving, a little over three times as much as average.

The province defines distracted driving as engaging in any activity that diverts your attention away from the road while operating a motor vehicle. Using cell phones is a common culprit, but eating food, changing a station on your radio or fiddling with a GPS device can also qualify.

Many studies demonstrate that distracted driving can be at least as dangerous as driving while impaired by alcohol, and B.C. banned the use of personal, handheld electronic devices while driving back in 2010. But in the immediate years afterwards, on average, B.C. witnessed over 80 fatalities a year result from distracted driving.

In 2016, the provincial government increased fines for distracted driving, more than doubling the cost for first-time offenders to $368. But since then, local police in Metro Vancouver are still issuing about the same number of tickets for distracted driving as they were before.

Distracted driving is still a very serious offence hat causes significant amounts of pain and suffering to families in the Lower mainland. If you are a victim of a distracted driver and are injured in a car accident, contact BLW Lawyers today for a free consultation.

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