70 per cent of B.C. residents think repeat distracted driving offenders should have devices seized: poll
VANCOUVER -- The majority of British Columbians want to see additional penalties for distracted driving, results from a new poll suggest, with nearly three quarters saying they think repeat offenders should have their devices seized.
According to an online survey conducted by Research Co., more than half of British Columbians say they've witnessed a driver talking on their phone or texting while driving over the past month.
Currently, a driver caught using a hand-held electronic device could be fined $368 and get four penalty points against their insurance premium, which is equivalent to $252.
Just about half of B.C. residents think the current fine is "about right." Thirty per cent, however, think the amount is too low, while 14 per cent think it's too high.
But when it came to other possible penalties for distracted drivers, more than half of those polled were in favour of additional measures. Fifty-four per cent said they agree with a driver being suspended for a year.
Nearly 60 per cent said they'd support the total amount of a first-time fine being doubled to $1,240. Finally, 70 per cent said they think repeat offenders should have their electronic devices seized.
"British Columbians who voted for each of the province's major parties in the last election are in favour of tougher legislation to curtail distracted driving," says Mario Canseco, president of Research Co.
"While 50 per cent of BC Liberal voters endorse doubling the current fine, the proportion rises to 57 per cent among those who voted for the BC New Democratic Party and 66 per cent among those who cast ballots for BC Green Party candidates."
Results are based on an online study conducted from Dec. 14 to Dec. 16 among 800 adults in B.C. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.