Drivesmart: Distracted driving month in British Columbia
Hey you! Yeah, YOU, put the phone down and pay attention to where you're driving!
In 2015 police wrote over 44,000 traffic tickets for distracted driving violations in B.C. ICBC tells us that about 30 per cent of crashes in B.C. involve driving while distracted. Recent changes to the distracted driving legislation saw fines change from $196 to $348 plus $175 from four penalty points, yet look around you in traffic and see how many drivers you can find with an electronic device in hand.
So, if we know that this is not a good idea, why do some of us do it? Perhaps we could ask the same question of impaired drivers, speeders, or those who don't stop at stop signs. I suspect that it's a combination of putting one's perceived needs ahead of everyone else, our rationalization that we're good drivers so we can do this safely, or we don't think that there is much chance of being caught.
There is even talk of cell phone use being an addiction that creates a compulsion to use it regardless of the circumstances that we find ourselves in at the time.
Ultimately, the solution to the problem comes down to the individual, that is me and you. Together we can do things like shutting off our phones when we get into the vehicle, install an app like OneTap that silences notifications while driving, refusing to talk or text with friends and familiy while they drive, pull over and park to text or make a call.
Got the message?