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: Shooting incident in Langley Township

Police respond to report of shots fired, find bullet hole in garage door

VIDEO: Grand Prix at Thunderbird show park sold out again

Langley School District Foundation projects improved results

VIDEO: Langley City MS Walk beats fundraising goal

More than 200 take part in annual fundraiser

Langley skaters harvest medals at biggest figure skating competition in B.C.

Super Series Victoria Day Competition drew over 1,000 competitors

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally in Langley

One of five events organized across the province

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

Wildfire sparked north of Merritt, estimated 8 hectares

BC Wildfire Service is responding to the fire near Chattaway Lake FSR 27 kilometres north of Merritt

Heavy police presence after reported shooting in Richmond

Reports say a man was hit while riding a motorcycle

B.C. to spend $181M to create 200 general practitioner jobs

Jobs will go to new medical school graduates

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

Most Read