Effective October 20, 2014, distracted drivers will receive 3 points for texting, watching a DVD, programming a phone’s GPS, or operating hand-held audio players. This is in addition to the $167 fine already in place for talking on mobile phones. The penalty for anyone who receives more than one distracted driving ticket in a year is at least $634 to include a $300 penalty premium for six points. Penalty points remain on a person’s driving record for five years and can result in further penalties, including prohibitions from driving.
Driver penalty points are separate from Autoplan insurance premiums and those caught for these infractions will be billed even if they don’t own or insure a vehicle.
Justice Minister Suzanne Anton says, “I’m very concerned that distraction in all forms is the second-highest contributing factor in motor vehicle fatalities in B.C.”
“Ticket volumes show us that more drivers are ticketed for talking on an electronic device than for texting and driving, and so that is where we decided to start with the new penalty points.”
ICBC is raising rates 5.2 per cent for all drivers, citing a $500-million increase in injury claims for distracted driving in the past five years.
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