Solicitor General Shirley Bond is urging motorists to drive safely this Labour Day long weekend and to avoid all behaviours associated with distracted driving.
A recent Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of the Insurance Corporation of BC reported that nearly 87 per cent of respondents believe texting or emailing while driving is one of the most risky things we can do behind the wheel, and 76 per cent reported it’s just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Fifty per cent also consider talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving just as dangerous as drinking and driving.
From Feb. 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, police issued 36,921 tickets to drivers for use of an electronic device while driving, and 1,081 tickets to drivers for emailing or texting while driving. Each year on average, B.C. records 117 fatalities and more than 1,400 serious injuries as a result of distracted driving.
This fatality rate falls right behind impaired driving and speeding, which results in 126 and 152 average annual deaths, respectively.
During the month of September, police across B.C. will use targeted strategies to enforce distracted driving behaviours such as talking or texting on a handheld electronic device. Police will be issuing warnings and tickets with a $167 fine where appropriate.