Many B.C. residents still use their phone behind the wheel, police ramping up enforcement

Driving? Stay off your phone

A new survey from ICBC suggests most drivers think texting, talking and looking at your phone while driving is risky — but 38 per cent still do it.

The survey reveals 95 per cent of British Columbians think texting while driving is risky. Talking on the phone while driving comes in second with 88 per cent and looking at your device behind the wheel comes in third with 80 per cent. All of these acts are considered distracted driving and they are all very risky.

Since the province’s distracted driving law came into effect in 2010, more than 455,000 tickets have been issued in regards to people using their phones while driving.

Looking at statistics, more than one in every four fatal crashes in the province involve distracted driving. This is why police and ICBC continue to spread awareness on dangerous driving behaviours which claim approximately 78 lives each year.

This month’s campaign ‘leave your phone alone when you're behind the wheel’ urges drivers to steer clear of using their devices when operating their vehicles.

In recognition of this, police across the province will be ramping up distracted driving enforcement in March and community members will also be setting up Cell Watch deployments to remind motorists to stay off their phones.

The campaign will feature radio ads, digital advertisements and postings on social media.

Distracted driving comes in many forms but studies have shown that using electronic devices is one of the most common and riskiest forms of it.

Distracted driving is the second leading cause of traffic fatalities in B.C., behind speeding and ahead of impaired driving. Distracted driving is the top contributing factor in police-reported injury crashes.

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