The chaos surrounding fake driving laws
By Tania Arora, Staff Writer
Facebook posts from January about new driving laws went viral due to their incredibly strict and unbelievable guidelines. Contrary to the post, there are no new additions to the driving laws effective in February.
The fake post that circulated around the internet said that drivers could be ticketed over multiple acts which may lead to distracted driving. Some of them include texting, reading (e.g. books, maps), programming a GPS, watching videos, eating or drinking, smoking or vaping, grooming, adjusting the radio, listening to extremely loud music, and talking to passengers.
People who saw these fake laws expressed their frustration in the post’s comments with the government, ICBC, and Alberta ministry of transportation for even coming up with the laws at the first place. What angered them further was the imposing of a penalty of $500 or more in BC and $3000 and up in Alberta with demerits and suspension on repetitive mistakes.
But don’t worry, the RCMP is not actually ticketing people for any of these things. A post from the RCMP website was taken out of context. The webpage talks about things that contribute to distracted driving. The RCMP website reads, “When a driver is distracted or fatigued (mentally and/or physically), they may not be fully focused on the road. Distractions and fatigue can compromise your judgment and affect your ability to drive safely.” It then listed the above-mentioned acts.
Although cell phones are a big no-no while driving, the Motor Vehicles Act does not list using a GPS as unlawful. In a 2010 RoadSafeBC document, it even mentions that GPS systems are acceptable under the conditions that it is programmed before the person is driving, it is voice activated, it must not be held in the hand, and it is out of the drivers view and safely secured.
Most accidents happen due to distracted driving which can be avoided by planning ahead of time. Cell phones can be avoided by keeping them out of sight or off ringer mode. While these driving laws are fake, it is still important to address the danger of distracted driving.