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42% of B.C. drivers are still texting behind the wheel, 12 years into the law taking effect

Month-long campaign beginning March 1 urges drivers to put their phones away
Survey finds that many motorists are still using their phones while operating their vehicles in B.C. (Shutterstock)

About 42 per cent of B.C. drivers admit to still using their phone while driving at least 10 per cent of the time, according to a new ICBC survey.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos ahead of a month-long safe driving campaign, also found that 93 per cent of respondents recognized the risk associated with texting behind the wheel. Texting and driving became illegal in the province in 2010.

Roughly 76 deaths each year in B.C. are related to distracted driving – or roughly a quarter of all traffic fatalities – making it one of the leading causes of vehicular deaths, behind speeding and ahead of impaired driving.

This month, police plan to increase enforcement as part of the campaign. Drivers can do their part by avoiding distractions and encouraging others to do the same.

ICBC recommends planning ahead before hitting the road and to avoid looking at mobile phone screens, as well as staying focused on the road.

The fine for distracted driving is $368, as well as penalty points against the driver.

ALSO READ: B.C. police moving to licence plate readers to check insurance

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