Auto Accident Lawyers Discuss ICBC’s New Measures to Combat Distracted Driving

The lawyers at our personal injury law firm have previously discussed what qualifies as distracted driving and how distracted driving causes auto accidents. Essentially, distracted driving is any activity that impacts a driver's ability to focus on the road, and it is one of the top contributing factors in police-reported accidents in BC. On average, 78 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in BC each year, and research shows that electronic device use is the most common distraction that drivers engage in behind the wheel.


Testing of two tech-based measures to combat distracted driving
ICBC, the BC government, and police are working together on enforcement and awareness campaigns to combat the use of electronic devices while driving. Our auto accident lawyers recently discussed the piloting of two new technologies in BC to combat that particular type of distracted driving: (1) an app that blocks cell use when driving, and (2) a Bluetooth-enabled scope camera designed for police to catch drivers using their mobile phone while driving. The results of the pilot projects will be reviewed to determine the role technology can play in stopping drivers from using hand-held electronic devices while driving.


New penalties for distracted driving
Starting March 1, 2018, there will be another measure in place, this one designed to penalize those who drive while distracted. As of that date, ICBC's Driver Risk Premium (DRP) program will include convictions for distracted drivers who repeatedly put road users at risk by using electronic devices while driving. Drivers with two convictions for the use of electronic devices while driving within a three year period will face added and higher premiums; they could pay as much as $2,000 in penalties (an increase of $740 over the previous penalties), in addition to their regular vehicle insurance premium. Currently, there are about 12,000 drivers in BC that have multiple distracted-driving offences over a three-year period. That number is likely to go up, given that enhanced police enforcement on distracted driving will also be taking place across BC, including a province-wide blitz at the beginning of March 2018 to coincide with the increased penalties under ICBC’s DRP program.


Existing penalties for distracted driving
It is worth noting that in addition to the increased DRP charges, drivers with multiple distracted driving violations in any one year will continue have their driving record subject to automatic review, which could result in a three-to-12-month driving prohibition. Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) drivers will also continue to face intervention after a first distracted driving offence and a possible prohibition of up to six months. While the recent province-wide blitz is aimed at drivers caught using a hand-held electronic device while behind the wheel, police also have the ability to issue violation tickets for other instances of distraction or inattention, such as driving without due care and attention.


What to do if you have been injured by a distracted driver
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, call Bronson Jones & Company LLP at 1-855-852-5100 to arrange for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced auto accident lawyers. We are a plaintiffs-only personal injury law firm, which means that we exclusively represents victims who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. We would be pleased to meet with you to discuss the accident, your injuries, and the types of compensation you are entitled to receive. 


Legal Guidance & More, from Injury to Recovery
Bronson Jones & Company LLP exclusively represents victims of motor vehicle accidents, and that’s all we do! Unlike other law firms which deal with everything from dog bites to divorce, Bronson Jones has built more than 30 years of trial experience and in negotiating fair settlements for clients injured in motor vehicle accidents.
We’ve also developed an extensive network of medical and occupational specialists, therapists, rehabilitation specialists, and others to help you recover and deal with the impact of your injury on your physical health, family life, finances and future. Additionally, such reports may be essential in the development of your case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call any of the 13 Bronson Jones locations in the Lower Mainland for our expertise and advice. All of our cases are handled on a contingency (percentage) basis and you don’t pay until we collect.

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