Should distracted drivers face licence suspensions?
B.C.’s distracted driving consultation is halfway through, and the province says the majority of responses so far have favoured tougher penalties for offenders.
Most people who have chimed in want the current $167 fine raised and for offenders to face a combination of sanctions, according to the government.
Knowing that, the province is asking the public to weigh in on two potential punishments this week: vehicle impoundments and driver’s licence suspensions.
Both are already used to penalize drunk drivers, while impoundments are also used against excessive speeders.
Distracted driving has become the second-leading cause of death on B.C. roads, but the province’s fines are among the lowest in Canada. By comparison, Nova Scotia’s maximum fine stands at $579.
The public has been weighing in on how to deal with motorists who refuse to put down their cell phones and devices since June 16, on the government’s distracted driving consultation website.
As of Tuesday, the site has been visited more than 11,800 times.
Ninety per cent of people who have left feedback so far said they’re “very concerned” about distracted driving, and a full 96 per cent said they support escalating sanctions for repeat offenders.
Comments have come in from across the province, but the government said the north has been significantly underrepresented, accounting for roughly five per cent of input.
The site will continue to gather feedback until July 16. To have your say, click here.