Avoid these distracted driving excuses, save $543

With the holidays in the rear-view mirror, most of us have bills to pay and don’t need another.

Mike MorrisMinister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

 

With the holidays in the rear-view mirror, most of us have bills to pay and don’t need another.

That’s why, as a 32-year-cop-turned-solicitor general, I’d like to share some information that may help you to save yourself at least $543 in penalties – not to mention a trip to a body shop, the hospital or worse.

Most of what follows is based on failed attempts by actual drivers to talk police officers out of ticketing them for distracted driving, which is now cited as a factor in about one-third of fatal crashes on B.C. roads. (In the spirit of a public service announcement, I’ve taken a question-and-answer approach.)

 

Q: If I’m stopped at a red light, can I text or use a hand-held device?

A: No. For one thing, intersections are busy places that require your full attention when you’re at the wheel. For another, awareness  at all times means you’re better prepared to react and take evasive action – for example, if an emergency vehicle or a distracted driver is coming up behind you! (You’d be surprised how often distracted driving leads to rear-end crashes and related injuries.)

 

Q: Many people have a screen in their dashboard that provides directions as they drive. My car doesn’t, so can I hold my smartphone instead?

A: No. If you do, and you crash into somebody, they may feel inclined to tell you where to go and how to get there. (Technically, though, your phone can provide you with directions if it’s secured to the dashboard and you’re not actively using it while driving.)

 

Q: What if my Bluetooth is dead?

A: Better it than you. It’s still no excuse to dial or text at the wheel.

 

Q: What if it’s my spouse or boss calling?

A: Pull over and park, if it’s safe to do so. Your vehicle should be stationary and safely out of the flow of traffic if you’re going to text or dial.

 

Q: If the transmitter is turned off on my smartphone – like in “airplane mode” – it technically can’t transmit, so I’m legal to use my device while driving, right?

A: No. Technically.

 

Q: The clock in my dashboard no longer works. Is it okay pull out my smartphone and just check the time quickly while I’m driving?

A: No. Doing so takes your eyes off the road and increases your likelihood of crashing. Admittedly, a crash may give you an excuse to buy a newer vehicle with a working clock. But it won’t get you out of a ticket.

 

Q: If I only send a quick emoji, does that count as texting?

A: Yes. 🙂

Just Posted

RCMP officer cleared in Prince George arrest

A suspect’s leg was fractured in 2015 incident

Area timber supply cut by a third

More sustainable, pre pine beetle timber cut levels restored

Students dig in to finish harvesting garden produce

Hands-on healthy living education produces results in October, F2S month

New equipment for Vanderhoof public works

New generation grader and sweeper hitting the streets

BC Ferries restricts passengers from lower vehicle decks

The new regulations will no longer allow passengers to remain in their vehicles on closed car decks.

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Most Read