If a driver uses a handheld electronic device while operating a motor vehicle, they are committing an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act, known as distracted driving.
Electronic devices include cell phones, GPS devices, music players and any other device used to process or compute data. Use of an electronic device includes operating the device or having it in a position in which it may be used and communicating by means of the device with another person or device.
If you must use a device, it should be securely mounted to the vehicle. Once your phone is mounted, and you are using a Bluetooth device, you can touch it once to answer a call and once to hang up. If you are using an electronic device to listen to music, you must start your playlist before starting your journey as you aren’t allowed to interact with your device while you drive, not even at red lights. Also, playing your music through your car speakers is advised. If you must use headphones or earbuds, you should only listen through one ear.
Fines and penalties for distracted driving
A ticket for distracted driving carries a $368 fine. A first-time offence also attracts 4 demerit points, for which you must pay an additional $175 penalty to ICBC. For a second distracted driving offence in a 12-month period, there is a $520 ICBC penalty in addition to the fine for your ticket, and as the number of offences increases, so do the ICBC penalties.
With multiple distracted driving offences, you will be considered a high-risk driver and may face a driving suspension. Driving suspensions can range from 3 months to 12 months.
Disputing a distracted driving ticket
The consequences of distracted driving can be severe, especially if your ability to earn a living is dependent on your ability to drive. But there is good news. You can dispute a distracted driving ticket.
If you get pulled over for distracted driving, be polite and do not admit anything. The officer will be taking notes, and what you say can be used against you should you choose to dispute the charge. Accept your ticket and then follow the instructions on the ticket to file a dispute.
Consulting a BC driving lawyer
Although it is your right to dispute a distracted driving ticket, you should know that cases can be extremely difficult to win. For that reason, you should consult a BC driving lawyer to increase your chances of success.
If you need help disputing a distracted driving ticket, contact us at the law office of Tom Doust. Our BC driving lawyer has decades of experience handling traffic matters, including distracted driving disputes, and will fight to achieve the best possible outcome.
It is important to note that you only have 30 days to dispute a distracted driving ticket. So do not delay dealing with the matter. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.