A new survey has revealed an increase in British Columbia drivers using their phones to talk or text while behind the wheel.

Of those surveyed in the Ipsos poll, 43 per cent of drivers admitted to using their phone at least once out of every ten trips – up from 33 per cent in 2019.

Distracted driving accounts for more than one in four fatal crashes in BC and claims the lives of 76 British Columbians each year.

Now the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and police are launching a month-long campaign urging drivers to leave their phone alone while driving.

Police across the province are ramping up distracted driving enforcement, and community volunteers are conducting cell watch deployments to remind drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

“These police and community efforts are necessary as distracted driving continues to be one of the most dangerous driving behaviours impacting road safety in BC,” said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee.

“Almost 80 lives are lost each year due to senseless distracted driving crashes, in addition to the many life-altering injuries. One quick peek at your cell phone or electronic device distraction could be the difference between life and death. Please focus on the road when driving and save lives.”