Penalties for distracted driving have risen as handheld device use has become a bigger problem. (Black Press files)

ICBC tests new distracted driving prevention technology

Phone app prevents drivers from using devices while driving

The Insurance Corporation of B.C. is starting two pilot projects using new technology to prevent distracted driving.

ICBC plans to recruit 200 volunteer drivers to test a smartphone app connected to a device on their vehicles. The system prevents use of the phone while the vehicle is in operation. Attorney-General David Eby said people interested in testing the device and giving input into how it should be used can go to www.icbc.com to sign up.

The other pilot project is a Bluetooth-enabled scope to be used by police. The scope will capture an image that can be shared with other officers in an area for traffic enforcement, and officers will be able to immediately show a distracted driver the image.

“Distracted driving is serious high-risk behaviour, which is now responsible for more than 25 per cent of all car crash fatalities in our province,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. “If new technology can help police and drivers alike put an end to distracted driving, then we’ll have helped make roads safer in B.C.”

RELATED: B.C. to hike distracted driving penalties

The B.C. government announced Nov. 6 that penalties are increased for drivers who get a second distracted driving ticket within two years. The combination of fines and ICBC penalty points for the second offence in that time could total $2,000, when the new ICBC rules take effect in March 2018.

Government figures show that 25 per cent of fatal accidents in B.C. are now related to distracted driving, with an average of 78 deaths per year. With the rise of mobile devices, distraction is approaching impaired driving as a leading cause of injury and death on roads.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

McCallum says Surrey LRT communication plan close to election is ‘perceived interference’

McCallum ‘gravely concerned’ Surrey and TransLink will violate election financing rules, but city says all rules will be followed

Two Surrey volleyballers set to play for Team Canada

Brianna Beamish and Kiera Van Ryk in Japan for FIVB World Championships

Home teams victorious at annual Titans Day event

Four White Rock-South Surrey Titans football teams earn victories last weekend

Surrey artists ‘Paint the Train’ in inaugural celebration of heritage rail

Award-winning entries to tour Cloverdale in September, October

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

UPDATE: Police ID man in suspicious Richmond death

A body was found in the area of Garden City and Odlin Roads in Richmond just after 8:30am Thursday

Most Read