FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – March is Distracted Driving and Occupant Restraint Month.
Throughout the month of March, Fort St. John RCMP would like to remind you of the importance of not driving distracted and wearing the proper restraint while riding in a vehicle.
According to Police, distracted driving is the second leading contributing factor in traffic fatalities, behind speed and ahead of impaired driving and contributes to more than one in four deaths on B.C. roads.
RCMP say all of which are fully preventable if drivers were to slow down, leave their phone alone while driving, and refrain from driving impaired.
Distracted driving includes:
- using an electronic device,
- listening to music using both earbuds,
- having your dog loose in your lap or arms,
- personal grooming such as shaving or putting on makeup
Since 2010, the Distracted Driving legislation has been in place and there is not a lot of leniency exercised by police or the courts.
You can expect a starting penalty of $368 plus four penalty points for a minimum of $578 and further fines going up from there for using an electronic device while behind the wheel.
Police say seatbelt enforcement is also a focus for the month of March.
They say while people have become more diligent in wearing their seatbelts, there are still fatal collisions that occur that could have been prevented if their seatbelts had been worn.
Fines for not wearing a seatbelt are $167. Additional fines can be issued for children who are unrestrained or improperly restrained with tickets for $109.
For more information on distracted driving and occupant restraints, you can visit ICBC’s website.