The penalty for being caught using your cell phone while driving has increased: the “crotches kill” campaign.

As of last Monday (October 21, 2014), the penalty of using a hands free device, including a cellular phone, while driving has increased.

http://globalnews.ca/news/1624055/stiffer-distracted-driving-penalties-as-of-monday/

Prior to Monday the penalty was merely a $167 fine. As of Monday the penalty now includes 3 demerit points on your license. An increase in the fine is also being reviewed.

Why was this new steeper penalty put in place? My guess is the previous solely fine based penalty was not effective. As per my previous post, according to ICBC, distracted driving is now the second leading cause of car accident related deaths:

Distracted Driving is Now the Second Leading Cause of Car Accident Related Deaths

Some may see this as a simple cash grab. However, as easy as it is to be cynical about any government policy change that involves a fine (or in this case demerits that often have to be purchased back) or any information from ICBC, it’s important to keep in mind that both have a vested interest in keeping people out of car accidents in the first place. The governments greatest expense is health care. ICBC’s greatest expense is payouts from accidents.

According to recent info published on ICBC’s expenses, payouts on claims account for 75% of ICBC’s expenses:

http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/ocg/ias/pdf_docs/ICBC_Review_2012.pdf

Drive safe people and put away those cell phones. As according to the Traffic Safety Commission “crotches kill”.

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