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Reminder: Cell phone ban while driving coming January 1

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130):  A friendly reminder from the provincial government and police: In 11 more days it will be illegal to talk or text with any hand held device while driving.  The province’s cell phone ban while driving comes into effect January 1st.

Solicitor General Kash Heed and Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu were showing off new road signs and an upcoming ad campaign this morning at the corner of Denman and Georgia–one of the busiest traffic areas in Vancouver.  Heed says drivers need to know that the law will be enforced, even if it isn’t popular.  “Let’s use the seat belt legislation; the same critics were out there at that time, saying people weren’t going to abide by the seat belts, and it would be difficult to enforce.  Now, there’s a high compliance in the use of seat belts.”

Heed says an informal count by ICBC at Georgia and Denman during last Monday’s morning commute spotted 116 drivers either talking or texting while driving.  Chief Chu says it will take some adjustment for drivers, and through January, Vancouver Police will hand out warnings. Come February the fine will be $167.  For drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program there will be a full ban on all cell phone use, including hands free.