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Use Your Handheld Cellphone While Driving in BC - Cell and Vehicle Seized

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The latest proposal from the BC Police Chiefs to seize the cellphone and vehicle of drivers who are guilty of "distracted driving" and they want fines increased.

Police want to seize the cellphones of drivers continually “flaunting and breaking the law,” despite legislation made about three years ago that made it illegal to use handheld devices while driving.

Victoria Chief Const. Jamie Graham, head of the traffic committee of the B.C. Chiefs of Police Association, said a motion was passed Thursday asking the provincial government to legislate changes to let police seize phones and vehicles for a day from distracted drivers — similar to drinking-driving roadside suspensions.

“That means, on the roadside, we drop your phone into a seizure bag then you can show up at the police station 24 hours later to pick it up,” he said.

The association is also considering asking Victoria to increase the current $167 penalty for using electronic devices while driving. The proposal has been referred to a meeting in June. If approved, the province would be asked to make the change.

B.C. Justice Minister Shirley Bond, in a statement, said the idea is not something the government is currently considering, but added she’s willing to sit down with the police chiefs.

“We’ve seen the average number of monthly distracted driving tickets increase by approximately 30% over the last year and that tells us that police are targeting these drivers and enforcing the law.”

B.C. Civil Liberties Association lawyer Micheal Vonn called the proposal a seemingly “draconian response,” noting how the phones have become crucial to modern life. Police also needed to provide “meaningful analysis” on why violations are happening.

“The police have been alleging there has been an increase in distracted driving,” she said.

“That could merely be the fact they’re going out in (more) enforcement blitzes. You have to look at it in a broader context.”

On the consumer side, Dave Woogman, a London Drugs store manager in Vancouver, said Bluetooth devices remain a “top-five” cell phone accessory. After the law changed to make driving with a hand-held device illegal in early 2010 there was a “huge surge” in their sales.

“You can get them as inexpensive as $19, $29, or they can go up to more than $100,” he said, adding most new smartphones have “speech-to-text” capability.

http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2013/03/07/police-pitch-24-hour-cellphone-suspensions

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Good I say. Traffic is bad enough we don't need people slowing down and yacking away on their phones when they are driving. Its very easy to tell when you are driving behind someone if they are on their phone.

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This is a bit ridiculous as many people actually need their phones & cars for work

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"B.C. Civil Liberties Association lawyer Micheal Vonn called the proposal a seemingly “draconian response,” noting how the phones have become crucial to modern life."

No they haven't. There's a lot of ways to communicate, and if a client/businessman is so urgent that they need an instant response, then that means they've failed in not setting up a communications contingency/hierarchy plan

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Good I say. Traffic is bad enough we don't need people slowing down and yacking away on their phones when they are driving. Its very easy to tell when you are driving behind someone if they are on their phone.

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I will never stop using my cellphone while driving. I completely agree with the above poster. Unless you are texting it is no different than eating a cheese burger, drinking a double double or lighting up a John Players Standard.

They keep passing these insane laws and us polite Canadians just sit back and say "thank you ill take another". At some point we need to stand up for our rights!!!

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"B.C. Civil Liberties Association lawyer Micheal Vonn called the proposal a seemingly “draconian response,” noting how the phones have become crucial to modern life."

No they haven't. There's a lot of ways to communicate, and if a client/businessman is so urgent that they need an instant response, then that means they've failed in not setting up a communications contingency/hierarchy plan

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I will never stop using my cellphone while driving. I completely agree with the above poster. Unless you are texting it is no different than eating a cheese burger, drinking a double double or lighting up a John Players Standard.

They keep passing these insane laws and us polite Canadians just sit back and say "thank you ill take another". At some point we need to stand up for our rights!!!

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I will never stop using my cellphone while driving. I completely agree with the above poster. Unless you are texting it is no different than eating a cheese burger, drinking a double double or lighting up a John Players Standard.

They keep passing these insane laws and us polite Canadians just sit back and say "thank you ill take another". At some point we need to stand up for our rights!!!

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Then use a hands free phone system while in your car. I dont get how this is infringing on your rights.

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How do you propose I call my employer to let them know I am running late due to an accident or other unforeseen traffic issues. That is just one example of why people still need cellular devices to communicate. I have hands free in my car, I paid more for the blue tooth functionality when I bought my new car last summer, however saying that cell phones have not become crucial to our lives is a bit of a stretch.

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Pull over and call. You're late already - an extra 1-2 minutes isn't going to be the difference-maker.

Honestly, how did we do this 15 years back when cell phones were a big lanky brick that weighed 5 lbs and plans were exorbitantly expensive?

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You sir, are why I miss the neg button. There are not many things I hate more than when people talk on their cellphones while driving. I've been almost hit (as a pedestrian) by someone driving and talking/texting three times this week alone. At crosswalks. I've never almost been hit by someone who was eating. If you need to talk that badly, pull over. It's not a difficult concept.

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I will never stop using my cellphone while driving. I completely agree with the above poster. Unless you are texting it is no different than eating a cheese burger, drinking a double double or lighting up a John Players Standard.

They keep passing these insane laws and us polite Canadians just sit back and say "thank you ill take another". At some point we need to stand up for our rights!!!

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You sir, are why I miss the neg button. There are not many things I hate more than when people talk on their cellphones while driving. I've been almost hit (as a pedestrian) by someone driving and talking/texting three times this week alone. At crosswalks. I've never almost been hit by someone who was eating. If you need to talk that badly, pull over. It's not a difficult concept.

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Pull over and call. You're late already - an extra 1-2 minutes isn't going to be the difference-maker.

Honestly, how did we do this 15 years back when cell phones were a big lanky brick that weighed 5 lbs and plans were exorbitantly expensive?

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Again, you're living in a world 15 years ago. That is NOT the case anymore. You're missing my second point in my original post. You claim that cell phones are not a big part of our lives, but this entire thread begs to differ. You are right in that there are other ways and yes 15 years ago this was not an issue. But it is NOW, i dont get what is so hard to grasp here.

15 years ago, before everyone had cell phones, I could be 10-20 min late and let my boss know why when I arrived. TODAY, if I am that late, they expect a phone call, or some warining... Why? Because today nearly EVERYONE has a phone or the ability to let them know.

Guess what, 15 years ago, downloading pirated movies was not a big deal, but it is now. Times change. society changes. Keep up please.

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Personally I think they should ban the biggest driver distraction from cars - kids.

When i was kid we walked everywhere, rode our bikes or took a bus. Kids today are so spoiled.

NOTE - rife with sarcasm

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