Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New law about driving with cell phones

This morning the HR department at my work sent out a memo about the new cell phone laws here in BC. I thought it would be worthwhile sharing because while I knew the basics of what it pertained to, I didn't fully know the details.
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Just a quick reminder that effective Jan 1, 2010 all drivers caught holding, communicating, texting or WATCHING the screen of a hand-held electronic device will be subject to a fine and penalty in BC.

Hands-free devices are allowed while driving if:

The electronic device is not held or operated by the hand

It is voice-activated or requires only one touch in order to initiate, accept or end a call

If the device includes an earpiece, that earpiece can be worn in one ear only and must be placed on the ear prior to driving

The electronic device is securely fixed to the vehicle or worn securely on the person's body, and is within the easy reach of the driver's seat

* Manual dialing is prohibited and is treated as texting.

Caught in the act?

Talking on the hand-held cell phone - $167 fine and no penalty points

Texting, e-mailing or dialing - $167 fine and 3 penalty points

For more information, including MP3 and GPS restrictions, visit the ICBC website:

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Driving while talking on the cell phone is definitely one of my personal pet peeves (which, hypocritically, I'm guilty of doing in the past). I used to get away with it while driving long stretches where distractions are minimal, but in places like downtown Vancouver where pedestrians outnumber the traffic and everywhere is an intersection? It's just stupid. In our era of iPhone and Blackberry, I welcome these new laws. Do you?


Duane Storey said...

Yah I'm for it. I saw an episode of Myth busters where they showed that someone on a phone is a worse driver than someone who is intoxicated.

Robyn said...

I believe it!

People driving while talking on their cell can be spotted a mile away by their erratic driving, whether they're driving a constantly-decreasing 40km down an empty Oak Street, or meandering over two lanes. It's unbelievable at times.

Lorra Fae said...

I'm glad. ESPECIALLY for texting. But what about if you send a text at a red light? That's the only time I do it now, and even that is rare.

I am guilty of doing it in the past, as well as being on the phone (like you, when on long stretches of highway) but a while ago I made a promise to myself not to do it anymore, I've heard too many horror stories and seen too many nasty video interpretations of what could happen. It's not worth it.

So yeah, I'm glad there is a law. I don't know how well it will work, as people still do a lot of shit that's against the law, but hopefully it will help.

It would be nice if we could get people to stop yapping on their phones on transit, too. A short call is one thing, but a long-winded conversation is just obnoxious. :p

Erin said...

This new law also includes iPods, which may surprise a lot of people. It makes sense to me. When I got an iPod I quickly realized the impracticality of using it in a car (if you're also driving). Big difference from CDs, tapes, or the radio. I guess I'll have to pre-set a few driving playlists then, or just learn to press Shuffle and leave it alone!

I don't like people fidgeting with their electronic gadgets while driving either, but it's a hard habit to break.

Joanne Olivieri said...

We just passed that here in California as well. The funny thing is a few days after it passed the first lady of Calif. Maria Schrieber, the governor's wife was caught driving while talking on her cell. Of course nothing was done but it is a good law.