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Distracted driving blitz underway in B.C.

B.C. police will intensify their efforts to bust distracted drivers and those not wearing seatbelts this month. As they do every March and September, police from across B.C.
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B.C. cops will be cracking down on distracted driving in the province this month. Photo: Getty Images

B.C. police will intensify their efforts to bust distracted drivers and those not wearing seatbelts this month. 

As they do every March and September, police from across B.C. will take part in the Distracted Driving and Occupant Restraint enforcement campaign. 

BC RCMP Traffic Services says fatal and serious injury motor vehicle collisions due to distracted driving are completely preventable.

"It all starts with you," says Supt. Holly Turton, the officer in charge of BC RCMP Traffic Services. 

"Ask yourself if it is worth your life or someone else’s to answer a call, check your email or send that text while you are driving. Please make the right choice when you drive – ignore your phone and drive responsibly – your life may depend on it – and others may depend on you to get to your destination safely."

According to provincial data, distracted driving is responsible for more than 25 per cent of all car crash fatalities and is the second leading cause of fatal collisions in B.C. Every year, an average of 76 people die in fatal motor vehicle collisions in BC because the driver was distracted or not paying attention.

Distracted driving is more than electronic devices being used; other reasons for the citation include personal grooming, eating/drinking, reading, pets, other passengers, and not knowing your route. 

Fines for a distracted driver start at $368 plus 4 penalty points and a $252 driver penalty premium assessed by ICBC for a minimum of $620 for a first offence.

Police will also be looking out for those not wearing seatbelts, while compliance is high in B.C., on average, 52 people are killed every year in collisions that may have been survivable had restraints been worn. 

The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $167.

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