Column: Have your say on distracted driving penalties

Are you as concerned as I am about distracted driving? Are you tired of people texting while driving?

Are you as concerned as I am about distracted driving? Are you tired of people texting while driving? If you are, you have until 4 p.m. tomorrow on July 16 to have your say and let our government know what you would like to see done about it.

Distracted driving is a growing problem that has serious risks for everyone on the road, including those people who have survived a crash.

While our government has taken significant steps to punish distracted drivers including fines and issuing penalty points, we’ve heard calls that more needs to be done — and we agree. A newer website: — has collected comments from British Columbians in our government’s efforts to stop distracted driving and enhance safety on B.C. roads. It’s the midpoint of our distracted driving consultation. Of the thousands who have taken the time to add their voice, almost 90 per cent say they’re very concerned about stopping distracted driving.

Last fall, B.C. increased the penalty points for using a hand-held electronic device while driving, from zero to three, in addition to the $167 fine. One thing is abundantly clear — British Columbians think the fines are too low and are telling us they want us to consider adding alternative sanctions beyond just fines and penalty points.

I’m pleased to share with you that our government is taking the next step in B.C.’s effort to stop distracted driving, and curb a high-risk behaviour that’s now the second-highest contributing factor in motor vehicle deaths on B.C. roads.

In general, we’re hearing a lot from people in urban centres, but not a lot from rural areas such as the Cariboo-Chilcotin. Our government would love to hear what you have to say.

I encourage you to participate in the conversation and voice your opinion on distracted driving during a consultation that takes place until July 16 by

Safety on our roads is everyone’s responsibility.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
Avalanche Canada special avalanche warning includes Cariboos

The warning is in effect through the weekend

The city of Williams Lake has received provincial funding for a proposed boardwalk connecting the RC Cotton Trail to the River Valley Recreational Trail. (City of Williams Lake rough visualization of the proposal)
$550,000 provincial funding announced for Williams Lake boardwalk trail

The boardwalk will connect the new RC Cotton Trail to the river valley

100 Mile RCMP Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen. (Patrick Davies photo, 100 Mile Free Press).
100 Mile RCMP investigate theft at airport hangar, 88 other incidents

Incident is one of 89 calls attended by police from Feb. 17 to 23.

Williams Lake city council is interested in acquiring the former Poplar Glade School property on Eleventh Avenue. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake city council sets sights on two former school properties

School District said there is a five-step process for property disposal

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
‘Stay local’: Dr. Henry shoots down spring break travel for British Columbians

B.C. is reportedly working with other provincial governments to determine March break policies

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” said FNHA acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. (First Nations Health Authority Facebook photo)
All First Nations on reserve to be vaccinated by end of March: First Nations Health Authority

Vaccinations continuing for B.C. First Nations amid shortages

(Delta Police Department photo)
B.C. youth calls 911 after accruing $7K in online gaming charges

‘Police spoke with the student about appropriate times to call 911’

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. NDP announces Site C will go ahead with new $16B budget

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Most Read