I am not generally a fan of the Liberal Party government that currently runs British Columbia (even though the only potentially viable alternative is even worse.) However, I have happily supported their move to a Harmonized Sales Tax and now I have to praise two serious transportation safety initiatives.
Earlier this year they announced the toughest drunk driving legislation in Canada, laws which came into effect on September 1st. A breathalyzer reading of .05 used to be just a warning. Now, a first offense at that level brings a $200 fine and a three-day driving ban. Getting caught at 0.8 or above brings an immediate $500 fine, a 90-day ban and a 30-day impounding of the car — plus any additional criminal charges that can be brought against the driver.
I happen to believe that there should be a zero tolerance for ANY alcohol in the system of a driver, but these new rules are a good start in that direction.
Just as interesting are new regulations coming in at the end of this month which will hit speeding drivers hard. According to the Province newspaper:
Beginning Sept. 20, drivers caught exceeding the posted speed limit by 40 kilometres or more will see the vehicles they are driving impounded. “A charge of excessive speeding will trigger a mandatory seven-day impoundment for a first offence, a 30-day impoundment for a second, and 60 days for subsequent excessive speeding offences within two years,” a ministry press release stated. Those sanctions are on top of existing penalties, which include: a fine of up to $483, three penalty points on a driver’s licence and an ICBC driver-risk premium of $320 per year for three years.