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.

Just Posted

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Wally Webber elected to fourth term as Nuxalk Chief Councilor

Webber took the win with 174 votes out of a total of 389

Bella Coola expected to be hottest spot in B.C. today

Temperatures are predicted to rise to 18 C

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

IT’S OFFICIAL: Mt. Timothy sale complete

New owners looking toward year-round mountain resort facility

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Most Read