The Vancouver Police Department is clearly very serious about keeping people off their phones while driving. Well, as the CBC first reported, the VPD posted on Twitter a pair of citations issued to a driver for using a cell phone while driving.
Each ticket cost $368 for an eye-popping total of $736 Canadian (or $596 American). That's bad enough, but the real amazing thing is that the second ticket was issued just eight minutes after the first, and according to the VPD's Twitter, they were issued within six blocks of each other.
The citations specifically say the driver was using an "electronic device." The distracted driving law in British Columbia describes this violation as using a smartphone in just about any way, from texting to simply talking to someone on the other end. Talking while parked, when contacting police or emergency services, or using a hands-free system are the only exceptions to the rule.
On top of that, the tickets came with eight points on the driver's license, four points for each offense. Those points also come with fines in addition to the basic citations' costs. According to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and the British Columbia government, a first offense of the distracted driving law in British Colombia comes with a $175 fine for those first four points accrued. Having a second offense in 12 months, as in this driver's case, adds another four points, and the fine jumps to $520. So the driver in question will be paying more than $1,200 for his few minutes of phone use. These penalties are higher than they used to be. In addition, the British Columbia government notes that two or more violations come with an automatic review of the driver's record with the possibility of a 3- to 12-month license suspension.