British Columbians Call Out Distracted Driving
More than 10,000 submissions and opinions have been received by the Attorney General’s office in response to a 4 week campaign entitled “Add Your Voice”, http://engage.gov.bc.ca/distracteddriving/, where B.C. residents were encouraged to comment on all forms of distracted driving.
According to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Suzanne Anton,
“British Columbians have clear and passionate views about all forms of distracted driving,”
B.C. Government Responds To Distracted Driving Concerns
The B.C. government is committed to reviewing the feedback and support tougher measures when it comes to distracted driving. According to the Attorney General’s office, submissions included personal stories and online comments. A total of 962 emails were received with close to 2,000 participants providing online comments.
Some examples of the feedback received included;
1. A call for heftier fines from a couple that lost a son when a distracted driver cut him off.
2. A young couple’s lament that – in addition to enduring severe physical and psychological trauma – they lost their unborn child after a distracted driver veered into their path.
The website received 24,000 visits during the 4-week program with over 1000 tweets with the designated hashtag, #distractedbc. Over 69,000 responses were received to specific questions outlined on the “Add Your Voice” page, from over 9,400 unique respondents.
The findings included;
1. 90% of the respondents indicated that distracted driving fines should be increased.
2. 96% of the respondents said that drivers who received multiple tickets for distracted driving should face stiffer sanctions.
The findings will be analyzed by Road Safety BC and a complete analysis of the data will be provided to the government for consideration this fall. Based on the findings, the B.C. government hopes to finalize new initiatives by the Spring of 2016 with respect to distracted driving. Currently, distracted driving penalties include a fine of $167 and three penalty points. The government of B.C. hopes to have the safest roads by 2020.