White Rock RCMP is reminding young drivers to leave their phones alone when they’re on the road, or risk being slapped with a huge fine.
“With spring break coming up, we want to remind our high school aged drivers that they can not use any electronic device,” Const. Chantal Sears says in a news release announcing a month-long campaign focusing on distracted drivers.
“The decision to use an electronic device while driving with a class 7 (licence) has serious consequences, starting at a $368 fine and four (4) points.”
Drivers in the graduated licensing program – those with an L or N – are not allowed to use any electronic device while driving, including hands-free units, Sears notes in her release.
Young drivers won’t be the only focus, of course, as police across the province endeavour to boost awareness around the dangers of distracted driving throughout March.
Drivers of all ages caught holding an electronic device, sending or receiving text messages or focused on the screen of a hands-free device will all face penalties, and drivers with four or more points on their licence at the end of a 12- month period will be levied a driver penalty point premium, ranging from $214 for four points, to $29,376 for 50 or more points.
ICBC notes on its website that drivers can be distracted by more than their phones. Chatting with passengers, eating or drinking or even adjusting the radio can all contribute to distracted and inattentive driving, according to information at icbc.com
As well, drivers using a hand-held phone are 3.6 times more likely to crash, the site adds.
Fully licensed drivers may use a hands-free device for talking and texting as long as certain conditions are met, including that they are not holding the device and use only voice-activated functions.
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