New laws regarding cell phone use while driving were implemented in BC in 2012 and fines were introduced to help keep drivers’ eyes on the road. But these efforts have not curtailed the 25% of road accidents in the province that are caused by distracted driving.
Distracted driving laws in BC
Additional steps to discourage distracted driving were taken in October 2014, when amendments were made to the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) regulations, adding the assignment of three driver penalty points to drivers caught talking on a hand-held device while driving. The definition of ‘distracted driving’ was also expanded to include watching a DVD, programming a phone’s GPS, and operating hand-held audio players.
Sadly, none of the actions taken to date have curtailed distracted driving. Not to be deterred, MacLean Law–along with ICBC, the provincial government, and BC police–are all working together to bring heightened attention to the issue and increase awareness of the perils of distracted driving.
Studies have shown that public service announcements (PSAs), such as the campaign produced by MacLean Law, can play a key role in shifting behaviours. Some might say the MacLean ads are too graphic, but, says MacLean Personal Injury Law founder Lorne MacLean Q.C., “the message has to hit home. While Dave in our PSA campaign may not be a real person, the hundreds of innocent victims who have been killed due to distracted driving in BC are real people, with real families who have to deal with real tragedies.”
Distracted driving causes car accidents
“It is going to take a lot of dialogue and leadership by example to really get people’s distracted driving behaviour to change. It might even take a ‘shame game’ to get people to put down the phone,” says Lorne MacLean. “There is already a shame game going on, where people are encouraged to report drivers who are distracted. But don’t do it while you are driving! On the other hand, if you are a pedestrian or a passenger, take a photo of the distracted driver breaking the law and report it.”
We all need to part of the solution. In the meantime, we’ll be seeing enhanced ‘cell watch’ efforts by police and community groups as they strengthen their commitment to champion the cause.
Don’t be like Dave and end up on a slab
Be safe on the road. Consider others. Don’t be the cause of a car accident. You could put yourself—or someone else, including someone you love–in the grave.
Join us in stamping out distracted driving. If you have been injured in a car accident, on a bike, or as a pedestrian, by a distracted driver, call MacLean Personal Injury Law and let us help you fight for justice and safe driving.