Penalties for distracted driving have risen as handheld device use has become a bigger problem. (Black Press files)

ICBC tests new distracted driving prevention technology

Phone app prevents drivers from using devices while driving

The Insurance Corporation of B.C. is starting two pilot projects using new technology to prevent distracted driving.

ICBC plans to recruit 200 volunteer drivers to test a smartphone app connected to a device on their vehicles. The system prevents use of the phone while the vehicle is in operation. Attorney-General David Eby said people interested in testing the device and giving input into how it should be used can go to www.icbc.com to sign up.

The other pilot project is a Bluetooth-enabled scope to be used by police. The scope will capture an image that can be shared with other officers in an area for traffic enforcement, and officers will be able to immediately show a distracted driver the image.

“Distracted driving is serious high-risk behaviour, which is now responsible for more than 25 per cent of all car crash fatalities in our province,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. “If new technology can help police and drivers alike put an end to distracted driving, then we’ll have helped make roads safer in B.C.”

RELATED: B.C. to hike distracted driving penalties

The B.C. government announced Nov. 6 that penalties are increased for drivers who get a second distracted driving ticket within two years. The combination of fines and ICBC penalty points for the second offence in that time could total $2,000, when the new ICBC rules take effect in March 2018.

Government figures show that 25 per cent of fatal accidents in B.C. are now related to distracted driving, with an average of 78 deaths per year. With the rise of mobile devices, distraction is approaching impaired driving as a leading cause of injury and death on roads.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Month-long water quality advisory still in effect for Rupert residents

The City of Prince Rupert recommends those with weakened immune systems boil water prior to use

Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA seeks re-election

Northwest politicians announce intent on elections

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Heart of the City – Jason Scherr

Try and Try again - Prince Rupert Seamen Rugby Club

No COVID-19 public exposures in the North Health Region at this time

Northern Health Authority issued a statement on Sept. 17

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Most Read