March is Distracted Driving & Occupant Restraint Month for BC Police

B.C., BC Highway Patrol

2021-03-11 09:00 PST

March is Distracted Driving/Occupant Restraint Awareness Month and police across the Province will be conducting intensified distracted driving enforcement in your area. Fatal and serious injury motor vehicle collisions due to distracted driving are completely preventable and BC RCMP Traffic Services is reminding drivers to keep your eyes on the road and your hands up on the wheel.

Lego car with driver holding phone, Lego RCMP officer standing by car

Distracted driving is responsible for more than 25% of all car crash fatalities and is the second leading cause of fatal collisions in BC. Every year, an average of 78 people die in fatal motor vehicle collisions in BC because the driver was distracted or not paying attention.

Distracted driving is more than just using an electronic device but also includes other distractions such as personal grooming, eating/drinking, reading, pets, other passengers and not knowing your route. Doing any of these things while driving may cause your trip to end in tragedy.

It all starts with you, says Supt. Holly Turton, 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 are depending on you to get to your destination safely.

Police across the Province are stepping up distracted driving enforcement. The fines for distracted driving (using electronic device = 4 points or driving without due care = 6 points) start at $368 and 4 penalty points for the first offence, and the costs increase with each subsequent offence. In addition, your insurance costs may be affected.

And, while seatbelt compliance is generally quite high in BC, on average, 50 people are killed every year in collisions that may have been survivable had restraints been worn. Occupant restraints refers to all occupants of your vehicle, including children who are required to be secured in approved infant or child seats, appropriate to age and height. Police recommend that you always buckle up even if you are going short distances – seatbelts and airbags work together to protect you and the occupants of your car. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $167.

Still not convinced? Follow these links for more information:

Distracted Driving: ICBC.com; Seatbelts: ICBC.com;
DriveBC.ca; Occupant Restraint/Seatbelts
 

Released by

Cpl. Mike Halskov

Media Relations Officer
BC Highway Patrol
bchp.rcmp.ca
14200 Green Timbers Way, Surrey, BC V3T 6P3 - Mailstop # 804
Office: 778-290-2377
Fax: 778-290-6071

Email: E_BCHP_Media@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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