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Police targeting distracted drivers

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This month, police across the province are targeting people who use cellphones while driving as part of its campaign against distracted driving.

Preliminary statistics for 2012 found that among motor vehicle accidents, 30 per cent of fatalities and 37 per cent of serious injuries involved distracted driving, according to B.C. RCMP.

“Holding a cell phone in your hand on speaker phone is an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act of using an electronic device while driving and could result in a fine of $167," said Cpl. Robert McDonald of BC RCMP Traffic Services, in a press release.  "This also applies to leaving the cell phone on your console and typing while stopped in traffic."

Since January 2010, when legislation was brought in banning the use of handheld devices while driving, police in B.C. have issued more than 105,972 violation tickets.

Drivers under the graduated license program (L and N drivers) are not allowed to use even hands-free devices.

Similarly, offences that could trigger a fine for driving without due care and attention include speeding, unsafe lane changes, following too closely and failing to obey a traffic control device. The fine is $368.

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