Victoria, British Columbia – B.C. motorists in the capital of Victoria seem to be obeying the province’s new laws regarding cellphones, according to a study by the University of Victoria.

In February 2009, out of 8,000 vehicles observed at 40 sites around the city, 350 drivers were seen talking on cellphones.  In a similar study in April 2010, after the cellphone law came into effect in January, only 75 drivers were observed talking on hand-held mobile phones.

The study also found that 76 per cent of those talking on cellphones were male.

Under new legislation brought into force in January, drivers caught talking on a hand-held phone or electronic device face a fine of $167, while those found texting or email also receive three penalty points. To date, police across the province have issued around 8,000 distracted driving tickets for motorists talking or texting on hand-held phones or devices. Independent research shows that cellphone use while driving is the number-one cause of distracted driving, and on average, 117 people are killed and 1,400 sent to hospital in B.C. due to someone not paying attention behind the wheel.

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