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​​​​​​​​​​Distracted driving

Even if you're not using your phone, you may still be distracted. 

Anything that takes your attention away from driving, like chatting with passengers, eating or drinking, or adjusting radio or vehicle settings, can contribute to distracted and inattentive driving. We all play a part in making our roads safe – when you're behind the wheel, focus on the road.

If you're looking at your phone, you can't see the road

Checking your phone at a red light may seem harmless, but the truth is using an electronic device behind the wheel is a dangerous distraction. Even when stopped, it affects your focus. You’re 3.6 times more likely to crash if you’re using your hand-held phone.

Leave your phone alone #EyesFwdBC

Resisting the temptation of e-mails, texts, calls, posts and cat videos can be hard but it can be done similar to being at the movies, at customs, during takeoff or landing. Think of all the times that you don’t feel like taking a break from your phone but do!

The cost of distracted driving

If you're caught distracted driving, you'll be ticketed and receive a fine of $368.

Every ticket for distracted driving also adds four driver penalty points to your driving record. If you have four or more points at the end of a 12-month period, you pay a driver penalty point (DPP) premium. You may also have to pay a driver risk premium if you get more than one distracted driving ticket in a three-year period.

With increased enforcement throughout B.C., multiple infractions can now put a serious dent in your wallet.

Tips for safe cellphone use

  • No call, text or email is so important it's worth risking your life or the lives of others. Let calls go to voicemail and ignore your text messages while driving.
  • Turn it to silent and keep it out of reach and out of sight, or turn on "Do not disturb while driving" features that will send automatic replies to incoming texts and route incoming calls to voicemail.
  • Assign a designated texter. Ask your passengers to make or receive calls and texts for you. 
  • Plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need before hitting the road, like programming your navigation and infotainment systems in advance so you're not trying to do it while driving.
  • Pull over to make or receive a call when it's safe and legal to do so. For longer journeys, look for signs at highway rest areas, some of which now provide free Wi-Fi.
  • Avoid looking at screens while driving, even if you're using your phone hands-free.

Learn the rules of the road

  • Don't use your cellphone at a red light. The law applies even when you're stopped at a red light or in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

  • Keep your hands free. Hands-free means a Bluetooth, wired headset or speakerphone that can be operated with one touch or voice commands.
  • If you have a Learner's (L) or Novice (N) licence, you aren't allowed to use any electronic devices (like phone or GPS) behind the wheel, for any purpose, even in hands-free mode.
  • Make sure you understand the law on how to use electronic devices while driving

Show your support

You can help make our streets and communities safer by encouraging others to leave their phone alone behind the wheel. Get a distracted driving sticker and show your support. They are available at participating ICBC Driver Licensing and Autoplan broker offices.

You ca​n also place a bulk order for distracted driving stickers to share in your community.

Get distracted driving stickers 

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