Distracted driving

Last updated on February 5, 2021

Distracted driving shifts the focus of a driver from the road. It includes:

  • Texting
  • Cell phone conversations
  • Personal grooming
  • Searching for music

Research shows distracted driving contributes to 25% of accidents and results in:

  • Loss of life
  • Serious injury
  • Health expenses
  • Property damage
  • Higher insurance rates

The Motor Vehicle Act forbids using electronic devices while driving.

See Use of electronic devices while driving for more information. 

Rules and penalties

If you're caught using an electronic device while driving, you'll be fined and collect penalty points. You’ll also pay ICBC's Driver Penalty Point Premium.

Driver Improvement Program

The Driver Improvement Program reviews the records of experienced drivers with two or more distracted driving convictions in 12 months. The program can prohibit them from driving for 3 to 12 months.

Graduated Licensing Program rules and penalties

Graduated Licensing Program drivers face strict penalties for distracted driving. New and young drivers are:

  • Less experienced
  • More likely to take risks
  • Frequent users of electronic devices

Graduated Licensing Program drivers with one distracted driving infraction will be:

They may receive:

  • A 1 to 6 month driving prohibition
  • Longer prohibitions for added infractions

Graduated Licensing Program drivers will receive a violation ticket and 4 penalty points for using an electronic device while driving. This includes hands-free devices. Drivers with 3 or more points may be referred to the Driver Improvement Program.

Novice (N) drivers who have been prohibited will re-start their 24-month novice period after they’ve been re-licensed.

See ICBC’s Use of cellphone while driving for more information on Graduated Licensing Program drivers and electronic devices.