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Editorial: Put down the phone

According to police data from 2016 to 2020, more than one in four fatal crashes are caused by distracted driving, with 76 deaths in B.C. each year.
cell phone texting
Young woman texting while driving.

Despite it being a dangerous practice, many of us are still using our phones while driving.

That’s according to a new Ipsos survey that was released this week as law enforcement and ICBC kick off its annual Distracted Driving Awareness month.

According to the Ipsos survey, 43 per cent of drivers said they used their phone at least once out of every 10 trips. That is up from 33 per cent in a survey conducted in 2019.

And those same respondents realize what they are doing because 73 per cent of them say they think there is a pretty good chance that they will be caught by police holding their phones while driving.

Now I’m not going to sit here on my soap box and preach that we need to put down our phone without admitting that I’m guilty too. Not all the time, but there are times where I’m checking an email or texting while sitting at a stop light in traffic.

It’s dumb. It’s stupid and it’s reckless. It’s a habit that I have to stop.

Distracted driving is still a dangerous habit.

According to police data from 2016 to 2020, more than one in four fatal crashes are caused by distracted driving, with 76 deaths in B.C. each year.

On Tuesday in North Delta, Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord kicked off Distracted Driving Awareness month on behalf of the province’s Association of Police Chief’s and ICBC.

Dubord reminded and urged drivers that while cellphones are a necessity in connecting with family and the community, you are five times more likely to be involved in a collision when holding a cellphone.

He said that during the month of September, the DPD will be educating drivers and enforcing cellphone usage. The department will also be utilizing its social media platforms for tips and also hosting a Q&A with one of its traffic unit officers.

It’s a good time for education and awareness for all of us – myself included.

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