This week Conversations That Matter features Mark Milner of ICBC’s Road Safety Program, a program that is devoting more and more resources to discouraging distracted driving. It’s a fight Milner admits is challenging because “apps are designed to get your attention”. Unfortunately, the apps are playing a significant role in driving up accident rates. Milner says, “the average person touches their phone up to 2,000 times a day and the addicted user up to 5,000. This is a contributing factor to the number of fatal accidents associated with distracted driving. The numbers of fatalities exceed those associated with impaired driving and they’re close to speed-related deaths rates.”
ICBC says over the past five years close to 400 people have lost their lives due to distracted driving. The insurance company along with Police Forces throughout the province are clamping down with an increasing number of counter-attack programs. Unlike drinking driving roadblocks the police simply walk or cycle through a row of cars stopped at a red light. Much to their chagrin, they do not have to conceal who they are, drivers focused on their phones don’t see them coming. Fines for use of your phone when driving are $543 on the first infraction, another $368 if you get nabbed a second time and $3,000 if you get caught again within 12 months. After a second ticket, ICBC is going to review your driving record and could remove your driver’s license.
Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue presents Conversations That Matter. Join veteran Broadcaster Stuart McNish each week for an important and engaging Conversation about the issues shaping our future.
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