Attorney General David Eby ponders whether distracted drivers should have ICBC coverage voided

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      This morning on CBC Radio, Attorney General David Eby raised the prospect of a new and hardline approach to deal with people who talk on handheld devices or text while behind the wheel.

      He said that he's asked ICBC to see if it's possible to void insurance coverage for distracted drivers who are at fault for collisions.

      Eby is the minister responsible for the public auto insurer, which is expected to lose $1.3 billion in the year ending on March 31.

      Earlier this year, Acumen Law Corporation questioned ICBC data suggesting that on average, 78 people die every year in B.C. "where distracted driving is a contributing factor".

      The law firm, which defends people charged with driving offences, noted that its freedom-of-information request showed that there were just 14 deaths from 2008 to 2016 as a result of B.C. motorists using an electronic device.

      The information came from the B.C. Coroners Service, which stated that cases still being investigated were not included in these results. In addition, it said that in some cases, it's impossible to know if an electronic device played any role in a fatality.