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

Van fire sends plume of black smoke into sky above Willowbrook

Vehicle a charred shell in fire that slowed Friday commute home

Police investigate apparent impaired-driving crash

Incident took place in Abbotsford on Thursday night

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Langley Rotarians work for clinics in Kenya

Local Rotary Clubs are asking locals to think of others at Christmastime.

Langley realtor uses Monopoly tournament to add to refugee group’s community chest

A fundraising tournament could be the start of an annual tradition.

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

UPDATED: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured, track cleared at 11 a.m.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Pedestrian struck by vehicle caught on security camera

Incident points to danger on the roads not only in low light but also in bright sunshine

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Most Read