Sunday, January 31, 2010

$167 Fine Tomorrow for Cellphone/Texting BC Drivers

She's very dangerous on the road.

UPDATE: My video of drivers breaking the new law is here.

The grace period expires on BC's new cellphone/texting law tomorrow and BC drivers face a $167 fine if caught using a hand-held device in traffic, plus 3 DMV penalty points if texting behind the wheel. From today's Province:
"The message we want cellphone tickets to convey is simple: No phone call or message is worth a life, so use your technology responsibly," said Graham...
This is great news for pedestrians and cyclists. Since 2006 we've known that drivers on cell phones are as bad as drunks; now it's a little safer to share the road in BC. And here I reply to a few comments posted by Province readers about the new law:
"So I can't talk on my phone while I drive? is this different from having your morning coffee, Egg Mcmuffin or Tim’s sandwich?"
Managing a conversation with a phone in one hand and car in the other requires vastly more brainpower than eating a sandwich and sipping coffee. A driver can eat and drink as conditions permit, unlike a cellphone conversation.
"Someone didn't think about all the people who work out of their vehicles. You know, they need their phone for business?"
Um, yes, please google "hands-free phone" and expand your consciousness.
Perfect revenue
"I just drove across town today, and I swear two out of three drivers had their ears glued to a cell?!? ...if the fines could go toward paying for the Olympics we should have it paid off by end of Feb :)"
Well said! Tomorrow I'll be filming downtown Vancouver drivers, trying to catch scofflaws in the act.

Stay tuned!


Dennis'much to do about nothing blog said...

Wonder how that businessman conducted business before cell phones were invented.

Good luck on your filming - it should be interesting knowing your ability to catch the unique.

BTW - do you know if the hands free rule also applies to bike riders riding in bike lanes - I have seen more than one talking on a cell phone while navigating the Hornby St bike lanes and are not watching what is going on around them - Aren't cyclists under the Motor Vehicle Act?


Blazing Cat Fur said...

This is a good law.

truepeers said...

It's a good law, and I think it probably does apply to cyclists too, which is a good thing - seen some fools texting and cycling along at some speed.

bulletproofcourier said...

Thanks for your comments.

Indeed the law applies to cyclists, they're also covered under the BC Motor Vehicle Act.

However, being an ex bike messenger, I wonder about talking into a radio strapped to your shoulder?

Alex said...

Interestingly, from ICBC's website:

Q: "Do you have plans to expand the cellphone ban to include other road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians?"

A: "No. There are no plans to expand the hand-held devices ban to include other road users at this time."

Also, from the same page, which might be relevant to radio for a messenger...:

"Two-way radios that operate on a set frequency (principally used for commercial purposes and by federally licensed amateur radio operators) and mobile data terminals are not included in the scope of the electronic device prohibitions, and can be used by any licensed driver."


bulletproofcourier said...

Good info and link, Alex! Mea culpa; I missed that info. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

Dennis'much to do about nothing blog said...

Yes it is good to know about the two way radios as that could have had some serious implications for us marathon bike escorts.



bulletproofcourier said...

That's right Dennis, I was wondering about that too.

Anonymous said...

My favorite excuse is the one about how there are other distractions, like food, etc. - as if cell phoners aren't involved with those activities also.