26 distracted driving tickets
It's certainly not a title anyone wants, but a Vancouver man is making a strong case as to why he might be the country's most distracted driver.
Police say the man -- whose name has not been released -- has racked up 26 distracted driving tickets and more than $4,300 in fines since 2010.
"We haven’t seen numbers this high before," Vancouver Police Sgt. Randy Fincham told CTV Vancouver on Tuesday. "At this point we’re working with the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. We're requesting that this high risk driver behaviour be reviewed, this person's driving history be reviewed."
In B.C., people caught behind the wheel using their cellphones or other handheld devices face a $167 fine. And if they are caught texting, emailing or dialing, they're also hit with three penalty points.
But the B.C. police chiefs say that’s not enough. In 2013, police in the province handed out 48,000 distracted driving tickets.
"People are just not getting it," Neil Dubord, the chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, told CTV Vancouver. "We need to understand to put our mobile devices down when we're driving."
The police chiefs have proposed to increase the current fine and also give officers the power to seize a driver’s cellphone as way to deter risky behaviour.
ICBC, the provincially run insurance company in B.C., says on average 91 people die each year in the province due to distracted driving.
In March, Ontario increased the fine for using a cellphone and other handheld devices behind the wheel from $155 to $280. The provincial Liberal government wants to go even further, recently tabling legislation that could hit distracted drivers with fines up to $1,000.
By 2016, distracted driving-related deaths are projected to exceed deaths from drinking and driving, the Ontario government says.
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