Talking on a cellphone makes a driver four times as likely to be in a crash

Talking on a cellphone makes a driver four times as likely to be in a crash

New crackdown aims to curb distracted drivers

Cellphone talking or texting third top crash cause after speeding, drinking

ICBC and police are revving up their campaign against distracted driving, saying it’s now the third leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C.

Enforcement is being stepped up for the Labour Day weekend and officers will be checking for distracted drivers throughout September.

The crackdown came as a new Ipsos Reid poll was released showing 40 per cent of cellphone owners admit they’ve recently used their hand-held phone while driving despite overwhelming acceptance distracted driving is risky, especially texting.

“The ability to connect with anyone at any time through our mobile phones has led to a serious problem on our roads,” Justice Minister Shirley Bond said.

Police say many drivers try to hide their mobile devices from view by using them from their laps but officers will use a variety of tactics to bust them and hand out $167 fines.

The poll shows cellphone use behind the wheel in the past six months is much higher among younger B.C. drivers –  52 per cent of 18- to 25-year-olds, 48 per cent of 26- to 50-year-olds, 29 per cent of 51- to 65-year-olds and 17 per cent of seniors.

A quarter of all fatal crashes in B.C. are linked to distracted driving – about 94 deaths per year – making it the third top cause after speeding and impaired driving.

ICBC also cited U.S. findings that drivers who talk on hand-held cellphones are four times more likely to crash, and 23 times more likely to crash if texting.

Free downloadable ringtones designed to encourage drivers to resist the urge to answer the phone are being offered by ICBC. The tunes (available at icbc.com/drivesmart) span various genres and include “Road of No Replies,” “Missed Call Master” and “Let it Ring, Baby.”

Just Posted

The committee to name the new Eagle Mountain elementary school will now not reveal the top three school names until September. (File photo)
Committee to name new Abbotsford elementary school needs more time

Top three Eagle Mountain elementary school names will now be narrowed down by September

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court. Labbee was convicted April 12 for the fatal hit-and-run of 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Sentencing hearing scheduled for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Crown will seek jail time for Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016

Dr. Keith Carlson, director of Peace and Reconciliation Centre, will be the MC and moderator for the June 23 webinar Islamophobia: Seeking Solutions for Hate. (Submitted photo)
Seminar presented on Islamophobia: Seeking Solutions for Hate

UFV webinar on June 23 features speakers who will draw on lived experience

Vera Stryjak (left) of Seattle and her mom Helen Serafimova of Abbotsford have benefited from the Archway Social Prescribing Program for Seniors. (Submitted photos)
Abbotsford program links vulnerable seniors to health supports

Archway Social Prescribing Program helps with community connections and more

Satwinder Bains of Abbotsford is the recipient of the 2021 aculty Service Excellence Award from University of the Fraser Valley. (UFV photo)
Satwinder Bains receives UFV Faculty Service Excellence Award

Bains has guided South Asian Studies Institute as director since 2006

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Ridge Meadows RCMP seized drugs, cash and guns from a house on Lougheed Highway and 221 Street. (Special to The News)
RCMP seize drugs, cash and guns from Maple Ridge house

Items were recovered after search warrant executed on Lougheed Highway home June 11

Fire near Highway 97 C close to Merritt. (Facebook)
Wildfire burning near Highway 97C

The fire is an estimated nine hectares in size

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

Most Read