British Columbia

Distracted driving not high enough on B.C. agenda, complain critics

Critics say upcoming changes to B.C.'s distracted driving laws are too weak and taking too long, given the obvious risks.

'It's not like it is rocket science,' says NDP MLA Mike Farnworth

Oct. 20, 2014, amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) regulations increased the driver penalty points from zero to three for drivers caught talking on a handheld device while driving. (Government of BC)

Critics say upcoming changes to B.C.'s distracted driving laws are too weak and taking too long, given the obvious risks.

NDP MLA Mike Farnworth said the road is already paved for the legislation.

Make B.C. roads safest by 2020

"It's not like it is rocket science to figure out what sort of changes are needed for distracted driving," he said.

Changes are expected in the coming months, and  BC's Justice Minister Suzanne Anton has said the goal is to make B.C.'s roads the safest in North America by 2020.

The government began consultations about how to handle drivers caught with hand-held devices in June 2015.

"The reality is I don't think they are coming anytime soon," Farnworth said.

"We've got the lowest or the second lowest distracting driving fines in the country. In terms of legislation it shouldn't be hard to draft because so far this session we haven't seen a lot of substance."

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