OUR VIEW: Distracted drivers may soon get message

We say these new penalties can't be put into law fast enough

Texting drivers are a plague on our roads

We applaud the provincial government for strengthening penalties for distracted driving. Nothing worse than looking in your rear view mirror and seeing a motorist hurtling toward you as they’re looking down, eyes transfixed on their phone. Correction — what’s worse is getting rear-ended by the idiot, and getting injured or killed.

Texting drivers are a plague on our roads, no better than drunk drivers. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death on British Columbia’s roads.

Effective June 1, each distracted driving offence will carry a base fine of $368 — up from $167 — and will also tack four penalty points onto the offender’s driving record.

First-time offenders will be slapped with a minimum of $543 in financial penalties. How that works is, the $368 will be combined with escalating ICBC penalty point premiums starting from $175 for the first offence and climbing for additional clownery within a 12-month period.

Repeat offenders — and this is great — will pay the $368 fine plus $528 for a total of $888 in penalties on a second offender, escalating with each additional offence. And repeat offenders will also have their driving record reviewed, possibly resulting in a driving prohibition of three to 12 months.

Considering distracted drivers killed 66 people and injured more than 630 on B.C.’s roads in 2014 (last year’s figures are not yet available), we say these new penalties can’t be put into law fast enough.

— The Now

Just Posted

MPs meet with Surrey council to discuss RCMP, LRT

Federal government to have quarterly meetings with Surrey

Hogg curious if a new recreation centre is needed in Grandview Heights

South Surrey-White Rock MP to host a Town Hall Meeting tonight

Surrey building that has gathered dust for 20 years is for sale again, with bids sought

Potential sale of the long-vacant 104 Avenue Centre is good news, Surrey Board of Trade CEO says

Fluterrific returning to North Delta Rec Centre

The annual flute concert will showcase music from all genres on Sunday, Nov. 18

WATCH: Goalie from North Delta scores in AHL hockey game

Tristan Jarry makes history for Penguins by hitting an empty net

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Regulatory confusion over ‘toxic’ stink near Abbotsford school

Officials sniffing out which regulators responsible for enforcing compliance at neighbouring property

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Heading soccer balls can cause damage to brain cells: UBC study

Roughly 42 per cent of children in the country play soccer, according to statistics from Heritage Canada

Supreme Court hears case on migrant detainees’ rights to challenge incarceration

Currently, migrants who do not hold Canadian citizenship can only challenge detention through an immigration tribunal or a judicial review.

Canada Post issues new offer to employees as eBay calls on Ottawa to end strikes

Ebay is calling on the federal government to legislate an end to the Canada Post contract dispute, warning that quick action is needed to ensure retailers don’t lose out on critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

No G20 member has climate plan strong enough to meet Paris targets: report

Canada’s push to be a world leader in the fight against climate change may be hampered by its distinction for producing the most greenhouse gas emissions per person among the world’s 20 largest economies.

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

Most Read