Distracted Driving Campaign Under Way in British Columbia

Several agencies are participating in the campaign, which takes place throughout September.

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia has joined forces with law enforcement agencies and the British Columbian government in a distracted driving campaign during the month of September, using a driving simulator to demonstrate how distractions affect drivers. ICBC is a provincial Crown corporation established in 1973 to provide auto insurance to motorists in the province, as well as driver licensing and vehicle licensing and registration.

Distracted driving is the third-leading cause of fatal car crashes in British Columbia, according to the agency, after speeding and impaired driving, and it is the cause of 91 deaths per year, on average, in the province.

"With vacations over and kids back in school, our roads are busy again, which is why we’re asking drivers to leave the phone alone and stay focused on the road," said Todd Stone, minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "You're four times more likely to crash when talking on a hand-held phone behind the wheel and 23 times more likely to get in a crash if you text while driving."

Police agencies are increasing enforcement all month.

"We've seen first-hand the devastating consequences of being distracted behind the wheel, which is why police across the province will target those who choose to put other people's lives at risk," said Chief Constable Jamie Graham, chair of the Traffic Safety Committee of the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police. "This is a serious issue. How would you feel if you lost a loved one because a driver was on the phone or texting? Think about that the next time you're tempted to reach for the phone behind the wheel."

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