ICBC has chosen to implement two pilot projects aimed at reducing the incidence of distracted driving.
The first will include up to 200 customers using phone apps paired with telematics. ICBC’s Road Safety Program Manager Mark Milner says telematic technology involves fitting a vehicle with a small device that communicates with an app installed on the driver’s cellphone.
“It tells the smartphone app that it’s paired with that you’re driving. When you get in the vehicle, it will automatically recognize your phone and it will determine that you’re driving,” he says.
“Depending on how it’s set up, it can either block incoming calls, texts and notifications or it can just send things to your hands-free system if you’ve got one.”
ICBC has yet to confirm which vendors the new devices will come from and hasn’t chosen any volunteers for the pilot yet.
It’s set to launch in January, with results tabulated in the spring.
The other device will be used by police to capture images of distracted driving and share them with other officers in the immediate area.
“What they are is a scope that attaches to a smartphone or a tablet. It allows officers to record the events on their device and to share it with other officers nearby,” Milner says.
“You can have an officer who’s the spotter, they take a photograph and the other officer who’s pulling that person over can show the driver the image.”