Cellphone use increases crash risk
- Cellphone distraction has a similar effect on driving as alcohol impairment
- Talking increases the risk of crashing by up to 4 times
- Texting increases the risk of crashing by up to 23 times
Hands-free phones are not safer
Many drivers believe that using a hands-free device while driving is safer. Studies show that hands-free cellphones distract drivers the same as hand-held phones. It’s the conversation that distracts the driver – not the device.
Young drivers are at even greater risk
New drivers are inexperienced and are at higher risk of crashing. Young drivers are more likely to talk and text while driving than other age groups. Their crash risk increases dramatically when they are distracted.
Parents make it a condition of your teen’s driving privilege that they will not talk or text while driving.
What can you do?
- Turn off your cellphone and other electronic devices
- Plan ahead - call or send messages before getting in your car
- Change your cellphone greeting to let callers know that you may be driving
- Pull over to use your cellphone
- Let someone else drive, freeing you up to make and receive calls
- Be a good role model for others
- Think of cellphone-free driving as down time
- If you think someone you are talking with is driving, tell them you’ll call back
Safe driving policy for employers
Car crashes result in lost productivity. Use the following guidelines and sample to develop a safe driving policy:
Cellphone laws for B.C. drivers
As of January 1, 2010 the use of cellphones or any handheld portable electronic devices by drivers is restricted in B.C. The fine is $167 and 3 penalty points. While operating a motor vehicle drivers:
- Can not make or receive calls, send or read text messages or e-mails
- Can not hold or operate any electronic device (i.e. cellphone, MP3 player, GPS Navigation System)
- Can use hands-free cell phones and devices if they can be used by voice activation or pressing a single button once only
- In the Graduated Licensing Program can not operate hand-held or hands-free cellphones or other electronic devices
Fines and penalties for use of cellphones and other handheld electronic devices while driving:
|The use of any prescribed electronic device within the meaning of the legislation, including use of a hands-free communication device or other electronic device.||
Note: Offences carrying penalty points can lead to a driving prohibition under the authority and discretion of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. If the driver is in the Novice stage, the 24 month Novice period starts again from the beginning once the prohibition is complete and the driver’s licence is returned to the driver.
|The use of an electronic device that is not allowed for in legislation but that does not involve texting, e-mailing or dialing, e.g., talking on a hand held cell phone.||
Note: Offences not carrying penalty points may still be considered for the purpose of prohibiting a driver should a person’s driving record come under review.
|The use of an electronic device for communicating with another person or another device by e-mail or other text based message, e.g., texting, e-mailing or dialing.||
Note: Offences carrying penalty points can lead to a driving prohibition, for any driver, under the authority and discretion of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.
*BC fine amounts reflect full fine including victim surcharge. An additional reduction, however, is applied to fines paid within 30 days.
- CAA Distracted Driving
- BC Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles – Distractions While Driving
- Parent-teen driving agreement
- Other Driver Distractions