March makes an impact on drivers

The month of March signifies the distracted driving campaign initiated by the province of B.C.

The month of March signifies the distracted driving campaign initialized by the province of B.C., which started in Richmond last Friday in partnership with ICBC, demonstrating their efforts to have all drivers on the road undistracted and complying with road safety regulations to ensure preventative measures.

“Of course the ‘leave your phone alone campaign’ has been pushed from ICBC and all of our partners,” Cpl. Ronda Rempel, media relations officer for B.C. RCMP Traffic Services told The Hope Standard. “And I think what’s important to let the public know is that sadly, 88 people die per year in B.C. because of distracted driving.”

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of collisions and fatalities on the roadway.

“Out of the 88 lives lives, thirty, are from the Lower Mainland — so we’re obviously trying to get the message out to the public that distracted driving is our second in leading causes for fatal collisions in the province, just behind speed and narrowly ahead of impaired driving,” she said.

In an effort to thwart the ongoing technological battle with smart phones, certain individuals are using alternative precautionary methods.

“I think everyone has good intentions and we have some people putting phones in their trunks, or turning them off — but we know that we’re all pretty much addicted to our smart phones and that’s causing a huge problem on our roadways,” said Rempel.

The officials are asking people to think outside of the box and suggesting the populace start searching for distracted driving apps.

“We are actually saying — use technology to save you from technology,” she said. “There’s quite a few apps out there right now, some of them are free, which we think is absolutely an initiative on behalf of the companies — we are encouraging people to seek them out.”

The innovative new apps have auto replies, so if you have your phone on, it can determine that you are driving and send an auto reply if someone calls or texts, while you are in transit.

“If you’re going to have your phone with you and you can’t part with it, you need to think of other ways to keep yourself and other people on the road ways safe — so we are encouraging people to do that.”

Despite significant fines for infractions, motorists have not been deterred.

“It’ a $160 fine for using an electronic device and there’s three points associated with that — and we all know that points affect our insurance — because people aren’t getting the message we do think that over time, we’re going to have to look at other avenues to get people to change their behaviours,” Rempel said.

Distracted driving is narrowly ahead of impaired driving when it comes to fatalities, and Rempel cautions the public to be wary of connecting with others while in transit and to keep all hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and to just drive.

“Don’t text your loved one to death and what I mean by that is if you know your loved one is on the road, don’t send a text message and don’t call — driving is a complex enough task in itself with pedestrians, cyclists, children and pets in the car. There’s lots of other distractions that we have to try and manage fi rst.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton, standing at right, sits on steering committees of two organizations that are tackling the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. File photo
Courtenay councillor leads campaign to reduce building-sector GHG emissions

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton wants local governments to carry a little more… Continue reading

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Numerous Comox Valley projects get CERIP grants

Numerous Comox Valley projects have received grants through the Community Economic Recovery… Continue reading

Thrifty Foods. (Black Press file photo)
Thrifty Foods confirms staff member tests positive for COVID-19 in Courtenay

The company currently lists 12 stores within B.C. with confirmed cases

Comox Valley Schools’ distance learning program, Navigate (NIDES), which saw some large gains in enrolment this year, could see a return to normal numbers come September. Image, screenshot
Comox Valley Schools expects enrolment drop come fall

Decline projected online, as more students return to ‘bricks-and-mortar’ classes

Cumberland will be looking to a parcel tax to cover debt for its new water system. File photo
Cumberland plans for parcel tax to cover water debt

Parcel tax review panel would take place March 22, if necessary

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read