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

VIDEO: Surrey Vaisakhi Parade floods Newton streets

Hundreds of thousands of people attended the annual event

Easter ‘eggstravaganza’ event planned for South Surrey

Event is to run from 12-3 p.m. at Dufferin Park (17355 2 Ave.).

Four Surrey students head to New Brunswick for Canada-wide science fair

Three projects move to nationals following regional fair at KPU

Vaisakhi parade to fill Surrey streets Saturday: Everything you need to know

More than 500,000 people expected for one of the world’s largest Vaisakhi-related events

Surrey resident says proposed apartment building is a ‘monstrosity’ in Whalley neighbourhood

Philip Galbraith says he voted for Safe Surrey Coalition to ‘slow down development’

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

VIDEO: Fan support almost deafening as Giants take Game 2 in finals

Vancouver G-Men cap comeback with thrilling third period to beat Spokane 4-2 on home ice in Langley

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read