New measures for excessive speeding and distracted driving
BC’s Minister of Public Safety is looking at potential new measures for excessive speeding and distracted driving. Mike Farnworth wrote about introducing new measures to tackle two of the biggest causes of crashes on BC’s roads in an editorial released at the turn of the year.
According to the statement, the top contributing factors in fatal crashes are speed, distraction and impairment, in order of frequency.
Farnworth said high-profile excessive speeding incidents during the Covid-19 pandemic, and speeding’s continued status as biggest case of fatal crashes weighed on his mind. He hinted at new measures to curb excessive speeding, legally defined as travelling 40 km/hr or more above the speed limit.
Readers of this blog will know the BC public safety minister was behind the introduction of speed enforcement cameras at dozens of intersections across BC in the past few years. Farnworth said: “Still, police continue to catch idiots driving at ridiculous speeds. It’s not just frustrating – it’s deadly.”
However, other measures could also be on their way as Farnworth said he will be listening to police, ministry staff, the government’s road-safety partners and the public for “ideas” about how to reduce excessive speeding.
What are the current penalties for excessive speeding?
What new measure the public safety minister could introduce is anyone’s guess. After all, the penalties for excessive speeding are already steep. One ticket for excessive speeding can be enough to trigger a driving prohibition.
The fine for excessive speeding is $368 or $483 if you get caught going 60 km/hr over the speed limit. Excessive speeders also have to pay ICBC a Driver Risk Premium which can total thousands of dollars.
Farnworth also said the fact distracted driving continued to be a major cause of accidents was particularly concerning. He said the BC government will continue to evaluate measures for distracted driving. The offence accounted for an average of 42,000 tickets per year for the past five years.
The government has already added higher penalties for distracted driving over the years, including potential prohibitions and increased insurance premiums. What new measures, if any, the government will consider in 2021 remains to be seen.