BC looking into anti-distracted driving technologies

One in four deaths on BC roads is caused by distracted driving, so to try and combat the problem of drivers on their cell-phones, ICBC is looking at what new technologies are available.
Mark Milner, Road Safety Manager with ICBC, says they're aware of new smartphone apps on the market that prevent incoming calls and text messages when a vehicle is in motion; other technology that makes use of a car's computer to disable a cell-phone, and even others that look at using road infrastructure.

"What we're looking for is something that's innovative, and that we think our customers might be interested in using to try and help them avoid expensive tickets or crashes," says Milner. 

Milner says if they see something promising, ICBC would launch a pilot project to see how effective it was at reducing both distracted driving and collisions. Milner says it's still too early to say if government would require drivers to use anti-distracted driving technology - or whether it would be voluntary. 

ICBC Spokesperson Sam Corea says it's also too early to say whether any discounts will be offered to drivers who use something like a smartphone app.

"Right now there are discounts if you have an anti-theft device in your car, but it all depends on the technology and if insurance products would then meet changes based on what's out there," he says.  

The government says despite tougher penalities, distracted driving is the second-leading cause of car crash deaths in British Columbia, with an average of 78 people killed each year.