It almost makes too much sense not to happen.
According to reports, British Columbia's NDP government has been researching the possibility of implementing a policy that rewards safe drivers who disable their phones' communicative functions on the roads with an insurance discount. While drivers would still be able to use their phone for GPS purposes and other forms of driving assistance, calling and messaging would be prohibited.
"Improving road safety is critical in getting a handle on distracted driving—people using cellphones," said BC Attorney General David Eby. "So there are other technologies we've asked ICBC to prepare proposals around—for example, there are plug-ins for cars that people can voluntarily take on in exchange for a reduced premium, or that new drivers could take on, that would prevent them from using their phones while driving."
"I don't know about the maturity of these technologies, or how pragmatic it is to be implementing them, but we should be looking at them and I've asked ICBC to do that," added Eby.
The types of technology that Eby is referring to have been used successfully in the United States. Though simply bringing them over to Canada would not be too difficult from a logistical standpoint, it will need to be carefully implemented policy-wise—hence Eby and the government's patient investigative approach.
BC is a province that could really benefit from this sort of an initiative. According to insurer's data, it reportedly experiences an average of 875 crashes per day. This has contributed to injury payouts rising by nearly 80 per cent over the past seven years.
The province banned phone use while driving in 2010, but as we all know, a ban doesn't necessarily stop people from using them. Perhaps an insurance discount is just the incentive to change that.