BC’s New Distracted Driving Penalties

Vancouver Criminal Lawyer

Distracted Driving Laws

Distracted driving laws in BC are evolving. Though they are not yet as severe as BC drinking and driving laws, they are clearly getting tougher. New changes to the Motor Vehicle Act will see those behind the wheel receiving larger fines for touching their cell phones, GPS, or any other electronic devices that are not factory-installed in their car. In addition to the fines, distracted driving penalties may now include demerit points.

Distracted Driving Penalties

 Those that view the new distracted driving penalties as simply the cost of doing business, do so at their peril. Distracted driving fines, on their own, may not add up to much of a financial burden. Demerit points, however, can result in increased insurance costs. Drivers who receive too many demerit points will have their licences suspended, and may lose their livelihood and incur additional transportation costs. As well, suspensions under the Motor Vehicle Act may last for an extended period.

 Distracted driving laws in Surrey, Vancouver and elsewhere in BC, are not currently criminal offences. Yet, distracted driving laws often has the same serious consequences, including fatalities, as does impaired driving. Lawmakers may decide to increase penalties for distracted driving so that they mirror those of impaired driving laws. Given that the laws may evolve to criminalize distracted driving, now is the time to get in the habit of focusing on the road, keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.