CBC informs us they must drastically increase our insurance rates in part because distracted drivers are now killing more people on our roads than impaired drivers.
With this new reality I can’t help but wonder why the punishment for the two offences aren’t reversed, or at the very least, the same. Last I heard, an impaired driver faced a tow bill, an impounded vehicle, an immediate suspension of driving privileges, a huge fine, paying to install a breath activated immobilizer, miscellaneous fees and class time to re-educate them.
Getting caught using your phone behind the wheel results in a small fine, hardly a deterrent.
About a quarter century ago, it was quite socially acceptable to have a few drinks and drive home from the pub. Harsh punishment and society condemning the activity put a serious dent into that practice. If we want to cut back on distracted driving (and our ICBC rates), we need to mirror the punishment for both activities.
At the moment, using your phone while driving is considered to be socially acceptable (much like that impaired driver a quarter century ago). Getting treated like a drunk driver for using your phone behind the wheel would go a long way in taking the social shine off the practice.