Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving Laws in B.C.

Stop Distracted Driving@KostelecPlan asked a couple of good questions on Twitter this week. He wanted to know what the distracted driving laws in BC are and would I share my thoughts on media outlets using video footage submitted by distracted drivers in their news stories.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Stop Distracted DrivingIt may be something that you are actually aware of or it may just be another buzz in the background of your life, but March is Distracted Driving Awareness Month in British Columbia. ICBC does the majority of the publicity, the police adjust their enforcement focus and drivers muddle along thinking that they are doing just fine until there is a knock on the side window and they're issued a ticket imposing a fine of $368 and 4 penalty points.

Q&A - Using Cell Phone GPS While Driving

Q&A ImageQ: I want to ask a question about disputing a traffic ticket. I’ve searched through this site and most talk about touching the phone, but in my case I did not touch the phone but simply bent over to correctly read the map direction. Unfortunately I didn’t have a mounting device and the phone was placed near the gear/side break (hence the bending over slightly to the right to see it).

READING - Developing Technology Neutral Rules for Driver Distraction

NTC LogoThe Australian National Transport Commission is planning to update rules regarding the use of in vehicle technology and has asked for public input. This could be of equal importance here in British Columbia and the document outlines what we might consider.

Distracted Driving Statistics - What to Believe?

Stop Distracted DrivingI received an interesting fact sheet from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) this week. It looks at distracted driving related fatal collisions in Canada from 2000 to 2015. In some Canadian provinces this type of fatality has surpassed the total caused by alcohol impaired driving. However, that's not the part of the document that made me pause.

DASHCAM - Distracted Cycling

Here's an image of a cyclist caught on dashcam riding along Garden City Road between Westminster Highway and Granville Avenue in Richmond, B.C. He is riding the wrong way, without a helmet, failing to keep at least one hand on the handlebars and appears to be texting on a cell phone. Four separate Motor Vehicle Act violations!

CASE LAW - R v Tannhauser

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis is the case of the cell phone app that helped a driver beat a traffic ticket for using a cellular phone while driving. Patrick Tannhauser was driving on the Trans Canada Highway approaching the Helmcken overpass in View Royal. He was stuck in what is known locally as the "Colwood Crawl" at 8:35 am. Mr. Tannhauser was holding his company issued cell phone at the top of the steering wheel.

CASE LAW - Winthrope v Superintendent of Motor Vehicles

BC Courts Coat of ArmsMarika Winthrope obtained her class 7 novice driver's licence in 2012. Due to the cost, she never attempted to obtain her full class 5 licence. In 2015 she received a speeding ticket and what the court surmised was a one month prohibition resulting from it in 2016.

CASE LAW - R v Bainbridge

BC Courts Coat of ArmsJudicial Justice Burgess examines the definition of "use" as it applies to the use of electronic devices while driving.

RESEARCH - The Battle for Attention

IAM LogoThe Institute of Advanced Motorists is a UK charity dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. This 24 page report summarises recent research and knowledge from scientific studies about distracted driving. It also defines what it means to be ‘distracted’ when driving, discusses the impact of distraction on driver behaviour and safety, and what can be done to reduce distracted driving.

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