A fall session will cap an unusually busy year for the B.C. legislature

Careless driving, smoking penalties on way

Premier Christy Clark to recall the B.C. legislature Sept. 28, the third legislative sitting of the year

VICTORIA – The B.C. legislature is being recalled Sept. 28 for a fall session that will likely deal with increasing penalties for distracted driving and careless smoking.

The B.C. government has signalled its intention to increase penalties in both areas. Justice Minister Suzanne Anton announced preliminary results of public consultation on distracted driving penalties at the end of June, with 90 per cent of respondents calling for stiffer penalties for using smartphones while driving.

Anton said the current $167 ticket for distracted drivers is not sufficient for repeat offenders, who could have their vehicles impounded. Saskatchewan has introduced a one-week seizure of the vehicle for drivers who get two distracted driving tickets less than a year apart.

After dry conditions sparked an early start to the B.C. forest fire season, Forests Minister Steve Thomson announced a review of penalties for violating campfire bans and tossing lit cigarettes.

Thomson appointed Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris, a former RCMP superintendent, to lead a similar review of those penalties. Morris said he was considering the vehicle impoundment option for careless tossing of cigarette butts, and prohibiting people from camping in provincial parks if they violate campfire restrictions.

Fire bans allow use of camp stoves or barbecues with briquets for cooking, but conservation officers continue to find people lighting wood fires that give off sparks and can spread in dry conditions.

The fall session will complete an unusually busy year for the B.C. legislature, which was recalled in July to authorize a project development agreement for the Pacific Northwest LNG gas export project proposed for Prince Rupert.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: British couple vacationing detained after ‘accidentally’ crossing Langley-Lynden border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

PHOTOS: The Aldergrove library welcomes joyful sounds for its 60th birthday

A celebration with cake, costumes, and a cappella

Truck takes out porch in Langley

Langley RCMP investigate accident for impaired charges

10 Questions: Langley-Aldergrove canidates answer

See how six candidates responded to our questions this election

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

Man who orchestrated Mission murders gets day parole after serving less than three years

Victims’ parents express grief, outrage over parole board decision

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read