Just over a week into 2018 and police in British Columbia are giving the same message as last year, to leave your phone alone. Regardless of numerous campaigns run by both the police and ICBC, the force has still yet to see a drop in number of offences.
Though September 1st to 23rd of 2017, Police saw nearly 1,500 tickets being handed out in the 23-day span. The worst part? Officers admit they could easily be handing out more, catching numerous people taking short glances at their phones during red lights.
The police blame an increase in tickets on an obsession people have with looking at their phones, calling it a behavioural issue. If temptation continues, they suggest putting it on airplane mode, hiding it in the backseat or in the glove box, or simply just turning your device off.
To continue to try and fight the rising numbers, the province has declared that they will be further increasing fines for distracted driving. As of March first, fines will reach as high as $2,000 for repeat offences within three years. The new fine is more than $740 more expensive than the current penalty and on top of insurance prices.
This new legislation doesn't just apply to hand-held devices, but anything behind the wheel that can take your attention away from the road, including: eating and drinking, doing make-up, or having anything on your lap.