Distracted driving is dangerous. It is one of the biggest contributors to accidents, deaths due to car accidents and injuries due to car accidents according to ICBC. Below are the top 5 misperceptions about distracted driving laws:
- Using your phone while stuck in traffic or waiting at an intersection is OK – MISPERCEPTION. The law applies whenever you are in control of your vehicle, even when you’re stopped at a light or in bumper to bumper traffic.
- Its OK to use some of the features on my phone while driving – MISPERCEPTION. Under the law, driver’s can’t use any hand held electronics while driving. This includes checking voice mail, making music selections, programming a GPS or looking up phone numbers. You cannot even hold the device in your hand while operating a vehicle.
- Emergency calls are okay – MISPERCEPTION. The law does exempt drivers needing to call 9-1-1 to reach the police, fire department or ambulance service about an emergency, it does not apply to personal situations – it has to be an emergency.
- Using the Speakerphone is OK – MISPERCEPTION. Drivers are allowed to use hands-free cellphones and devices but there are restrictions on how they can be used. If you are going to use the speakerphone the phone has to be securely attached to either you or your car, you can’t have it in your lap, loose on the seat beside you, in the cupholder etc. You also cannot hold the phone in your hand and use the speakerphone.
- The law is the same for all drivers – MISPERCEPTION. Drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program have greater restrictions on them including that they are not allowed to use a hands-free device while driving, this includes hands free phones.
Understand the Distracted driving law, follow it and help keep yourself and others safe on the roads.