BCCOM in the past has tried to address this issue without success, it seems that the new Solicitor General Kash Heed is taking an interest.
Let your voice be heard and write, email etc. The Coalition will be sending in a formal letter but emails can not hurt.
B.C.Coalition of Motorcyclists
BY ANDY IVENS STAFF REPORTER
B.C. police chiefs urge cellphone ban PUBLIC SAFETY: Even hands-free phones prove major distraction
B.C. police chiefs want to ban people from using cellphones while driving — even when using handsfree devices.
Researchers found that talking on a cellphone occupies about 50 per cent of a driver’s attention — dramatically increasing their risk of causing an accident while distracted, said Kelowna RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon.
“We’re seeing an increase in accidents,” McKinnon told The Province yesterday.
“There have been a couple of fatalities [in B.C.] from people texting [while driving].”
In one of those cases, Michael Edward Wolsynuk, 26, of Victoria was text-messaging on his BlackBerry when the truck he was driving ran over a concrete median and crashed into another truck in January. He died of severe head injuries.
A coroner’s report and a Saanich police investigation concluded Wolsynuk’s text-messaging was one of the factors in his death
Sending text messages is extremely dangerous, said McKinnon.
“It takes your eyes off the road, not only your mind [away from driving],” he said.
“Statistical data that is out there is saying that if you’re engaged in a conversation on a cellphone, 50 per cent of your attention is being utilized to process that information,” he said.
“You’re not paying attention to the task at hand, that being driving.”
McKinnon disagreed with the notion that talking on a hands-free cellphone while driving causes the same level of distraction as holding a conversation with a passenger.
“When you’re on the phone in a car, you are a lot more focused on the phone than you are than in idle chitchat,” said McKinnon.
The B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police at their convention in Nanaimo on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution to ban drivers from using cellphones.
McKinnon, who is president of the BCACP, makes no recommendation on what penalty would be appropriate.
“We’ll leave that up to the legislators,” he said.
A ban would most likely be enacted under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act, he said, adding four other provinces have a similar prohibition.
The proposed ban would cover “the use of electronic devices, which include cellphones, texting devices, PDAs [personal digital assistants], BlackBerries, etc,” said McKinnon.
He said it has always been illegal to watch a video player while driving, another modern trend that is troubling.
“You can already watch a movie on a PDA,” he noted.
Solicitor-General Kash Heed is considering the chiefs’ proposal, said his assistant.
“He is [reviewing] research that has been done on this issue,” said Cindy Rose. “In the meantime, [Heed] wants to hear from interest groups and the public on what they have to say.”
Currently, there is a law forbidding driving with undue care and attention, she noted.
MLA: Hon. Kash Heed
Minister of Public Safety and
BRITISH COLUMBIA LIBERAL PARTY
Phone: 250 356-6171
Fax: 250 356-6176