RCMP across the province will be targeting drivers who insist on using handheld cells or texting while behind the wheel this month.
Driving while talking on a handheld cellphone can result in a $167 fine. It can also lead to a charge of driving without due care and attention, which poses a $368 fine.
"This also applies to leaving the cell phone on your console and typing while stopped in traffic," said B.C. RCMP traffic services Cpl. Robert McDonald.
Those who used hands free devices, which are mounted to the vehicle or secured on the driver's person and are operated by one touch, are exempt from the penalty. However, graduated license program drivers (L and N drivers) are not permitted any use of electronic devices, including hands free devices.
Preliminary statistics for 2012 indicate 30 per cent of motor vehicle fatalities and 37 per cent of motor vehicle serious injuries involved distracted driving, RCMP said.
Since legislation banning the use of handheld devices came into force in January 2010, police in British Columbia have issued 105,972 violation tickets for use of handheld electronic devices.