The B.C. provincial government has announced this morning distracted driving fines are set to increase, as of June 1, 2016.
Starting next month, distracted driving offences will now start at $368, more than double the previous fine at $167, plus come with four demerits, versus three from before. They will also be combined with ICBC penalty point premiums, starting at $175 for the first offence and increase for additional offences within a one-year period.
First-time distracted driving offenders will receive a minimum $543 in fines, while repeat offenders nabbing their second offence within 12 months, will see a $368 fine plus $520, for a total of $888, plus even higher fines for repeat offences.
According to the charge below, a driver with a 10th offence would face total fines of $14,928, based on a ticket of $368 and penalty point premiums of $14,520:
Back in March, one driver in Richmond, B.C. shocked the RCMP with her 12 distracted driving convictions since 2011. Later, she ended up getting banned from driving due to her lengthy record.
Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said in a statement “Today’s announcement of significantly higher fines for distracted driving and four penalty points sends the message loud and clear – we will not tolerate distracted driving on our roads.”
Distracted driving is also now considered a “high-risk” driving offence, on the same level as excessive speeding and driving without due car and attention. Repeat offenders will now have driving records subject to automatic review, possibly resulting in a 3-12 month driving ban.
The province says 2014 saw 66 deaths occurred partly by “distracted and inattentive driving”, while injuring 630 on B.C. roads. In the past three years, roughly 50,000 distracted driving tickets have been issued annually.