The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) has said that it is in favour of increased fines for distracted driving after officers handed out 1,600 tickets to drivers caught using devices during March. According to Metro News, Const. Brian Montague said that VPD would like to see fines increased for people caught using their cellphones behind the wheel following a ticketing blitz this month.
“It’s a lot of tickets obviously,” Montague told the reporters. “That doesn’t include other distractions. Those are tickets just for someone dealing with an electronic device, for the most part a cellphone”. He continued that majority of drivers are still not getting the message and for that reason, the Vancouver police now expects to see the provincial government increase fines soon for the dangerous driving behaviour.
Earlier this month, Sam McLeod, B.C.’s superintendent of motor vehicles, said the province will announce tougher consequences for distracted driving in early May. It’s unclear if the harsher penalties will include steeper fines or more demerit points. The move comes after a local woman was recently publicly exposed for having 14 distracted driving citations. She has yet to have her licence taken away, although police have requested that her driving history be reviewed for possible suspension.
Currently, tickets for distracted driving in B.C. cost at least $167 and can cost drivers three demerit points.