28 October 2016 12:12 pm / Road Trip Drivers Buy a Car Finance a Car

Distracted Driving 101

Pay attention. We're here to talk about your favourite thing in the whole world: not being distracted by your phone's incoming texts, pending Tinder dates, and what's happening in your Clash of Clans. 

While impaired driving is extremely hazardous for yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the road, distracted driving can be just as, if not more so, dangerous. So if you've been ignoring the latest revisions to the law because you haven't looked up from your phone yet long enough to read up on them, don't worry. We're here to inform, also maybe lecture, you on the dangers of distracted driving.

Aside from talking on a handheld device, distracted driving includes anything that takes your mind’s attention away from the task at hand, i.e. at ten and two, where your hands should be. Anything that deters your focus from driving can be considered to be ‘distracted driving’. Whether this is having a conversation with the person in your passenger seat, singing along to T Swift becasue you're an adult and you can do what you want, drinking coffee, or applying touchups to your makeup in the rearview mirror, it’s up to you to figure out if whatever you are doing while in the car is diverting your attention from the road.

Beginning this June, the minimum fine for distracted driving in BC was increased to $543. These new, tougher laws are an effort by the government to stamp out dangerous behaviour behind the wheel. If you collect more than three points (which are given to you for every penalty incurred) on your driving record in 12 months, ICBC will charge a Driver Penalty Point (DPP) premium.

A second ticket will land you a fine of $888, while a third offence increases that amount to $3000. Additionally, the use of an electronic device while driving is now considered as a ‘high-risk’ offence.

This new categorization means that drivers who receive two or more tickets within 12 months get an automatic review of their driving record, plus a possible driving suspension. For new drivers, suspension can occur after just one offense. Drivers also have to attend a mandatory education program that teaches about the dangers of distracted driving, and there is no minimum jail sentence for anyone who inflicts injury or death while texting and driving.

So buckle down on your distracting habits. They're about as dangerous as taking everything Trump says seriously. Know what's at stake before you choose to place your attention anywhere else but the road in front of you. 



Get approved today.

Join thousands of Canadians who have trusted BC Drive.