Seniors, disabled will be impacted as insurance crisis takes up to 1000 taxis off the road

Seniors, disabled will be impacted as insurance crisis takes up to 1000 taxis off the road

Senior citizens and others who rely upon Accessible taxis are at risk of losing this service as Ontario’s taxi industry is facing a crisis in insurance coverage.

“The number of taxi cabs which are being parked and taken completely out of service is horrendous,” says Marc Andre Way, President of the Canadian Taxi Association (CTA).

“In Hamilton alone, City Council members have been notified by licensing staff that 25 per cent of licensed taxis are now parked because they cannot obtain insurance. Communities across Ontario are facing dire circumstances on account of this insurance crisis.”

Toronto’s Licensing division reports that already 719 licenses have been returned to them. The number of “parked” cabs could climb to as many as 1,000 or more in the weeks ahead as insurance renewals are denied.

This crisis means that riders who require Accessible Taxis for medical appointments and other travel may soon be unable to receive on-demand Accessible taxi service; even standard, non-Accessible taxis may be unavailable.

The CTA, working with Philomena Comerford of Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers who are experts in the taxi insurance field, have proposed at least a partial solution to this crisis: they are asking Ontario to amend Regulation 664 to allow Loss Transfer for taxis as is allowed for other vehicles.

“Amending Regulation 664 will not cost the province any money and does not require legislation, it is a simple regulation change which will encourage insurers to stay in the taxi market,” says Way.

“We suggested this idea during Ontario’s Pre-Budget consultations, although in fact, the change could be made at any time. We hope Ontario will consider amending Regulation 664 as at least a partial solution to the taxi industry insurance crisis before it begins to have a serious negative impact on senior citizens and those who require accessible taxis.”

The CTA works with its members across Canada to:

  • improve service standards by sharing information with each other including best practices from proven operators in certain aspects of their business model.
  • introduce new technology or new services to make their businesses more competitive.
  • provide access to suppliers that can reduce operating costs.
  • deliver consistent customer service across the nation regardless of city or locale.

SOURCE Canadian Taxi Association

Related Links

www.cantaxi.ca/

ICBC profits should not be used to cover other government costs

VICTORIA _ British Columbia’s New Democrat government is planning to table legislation this week to prevent governments from diverting surplus funds from the province’s public auto insurer to cover other government expenses.

Attorney General David Eby said Monday the legislation would ensure future surpluses remain with the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia. Surpluses from the Crown corporation’s optional capital funds should be used to enhance programs that offset premium costs for drivers, he said.

Eby said the previous B.C. Liberal government took $1.2 billion in surpluses from ICBC between 2009 and 2016, which eroded its financial stability and led to higher premiums.

“I believe we need to do all we can to prevent future government from diverting surpluses away from ICBC,” said Eby at a news conference. “The previous government treated ICBC like an ATM, year after year.”

The government also recently announced plans to curtail legal costs in the public insurance system by limiting the ability of injured people to sue at-fault drivers after a crash. The NDP said the change will lower premiums by about 20 per cent or an average of $400 in annual savings per driver in 2021.

Eby said its measures to bring stability to ICBC are forecast to produce surpluses starting this year. He said preventing the diversion of optional capital funds will benefit drivers.

“When that money is inside ICBC in its capital accounts, it can help reduce rate costs through investment income,” he said. “When it’s taken out of ICBC and put into government’s account it reduces government’s borrowing costs, but it also deprives ICBC of the ability of using that investment income to reduce rates.”

The Opposition Liberals were not immediately available for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2020.

ICBC and police remind drivers to “take a break” from their phones

February 27, 2020

Since 2014, more than one in four fatal crashes on B.C. roads have involved distracted driving, which is why ICBC and police continue to combat this dangerous driving behaviour that claims 76 lives each year.*

This month, drivers will be hearing one message – take a break from your phone when you’re behind the wheel. Not only is it dangerous, but the costs can add up quickly.

One distracted driving ticket is $368 plus four penalty points ($252) for a total of $620. And this number vastly increases to more than $2,500 if you get a second distracted driving ticket within 12 months. Yet tough penalities haven’t deterred some drivers, with an average of 1,335 drivers receiving multiple tickets every year.**

If you want to save your money for something more fun, remember to leave your phone alone while driving.

Police across B.C. are ramping up distracted driving enforcement during March, and community volunteers are setting up Cell Watch deployments to remind drivers to leave their phone alone. The campaign also features advertising and social media support.

Drivers can do their part by avoiding distractions while driving and encouraging others to do the same. Activate Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature or what’s similarly available on other devices. Free ‘not while driving’ decals are available at ICBC driver licensing offices and participating Autoplan broker offices for drivers to support the campaign and encourage other road users to leave their phones alone.

You can get tips and statistics in an infographic at icbc.com.

Quotes:

Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee

“Distracted driving continues to be a serious issue in our province – it’s the number one cause of crashes. Police officers see distracted drivers on the roads in every community. We are stepping up efforts making sure people leave their phones alone while driving.”

Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s Vice-President Public Affairs & Driver Licensing

“Using electronic devices, like smartphones, is one of the most common and riskiest forms of distracted driving. Safer roads start with every driver making a conscious decision to focus on the road and leave their phones alone. Let’s all do our part to create a safer driving culture in B.C.”

Regional statistics*:

  • Every year, on average, 26 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Lower Mainland.

  • Every year, on average, nine people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes on Vancouver Island.

  • Every year, on average, 29 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior.

  • Every year, on average, 12 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the North Central region.

*Police data from 2014 to 2018. Distraction: where one or more of the vehicles involved had contributing factors including use of communication/video equipment, driver inattentive and driver internal/external distraction.

**Annual average based on 2016 to 2018 ICBC data.

 

#JustDrive – SGI: 284 impaired driving offences reported in January

Feb 25, 2020

Getting arrested for driving impaired is a terrible way to start off the new year, as 284 people found out in January.

The January spotlight found police across the province reporting 231 Criminal Code charges for impaired driving and 53 roadside administrative suspensions.

While many New Year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, it’s important to commit to drive sober or plan a safe ride home when you know you’ll be impaired by drugs or alcohol. Saskatchewan has tough consequences for impaired drivers, and impaired driving is the leading cause of death on Saskatchewan roads.

Distracted driving tickets decline for third consecutive month

The number of reported distracted driving offences continued to trend lower in January after seeing significant drops in both November and December. Police reported 509 tickets issued last month (including 405 for cellphone use).

Remember, distracted driving penalties increased Feb. 1, but police officers were keeping a close eye on distracted drivers long before the change, and will continue to focus on this issue.

In January, police in Saskatchewan also reported the following:

  • 428 tickets related to seatbelts and car seats and,
  • 5,563 tickets for speeding and aggressive driving.

February’s Traffic Safety Spotlight continues to be on distracted driving. Avoiding a big ticket (plus demerits, and vehicle impoundment for a repeat offence) is easy. Leave the phone alone, be wary of other behaviours that might distract you, and #JustDrive.

ICBC unveils new road safety school resources

ICBC unveils new road safety school resources

As part of ICBC’s commitment to promoting a safe driving culture in B.C., ICBC has developed new road safety learning resources to help teachers give children and young adults the foundation they need to stay safe.

Designed for students from preschool to grade 10, teachers can now download road safety resources for free at icbc.com. The material is divided by grade level, and each grade has a teachers’ manual and handout booklet for students.

“I’m impressed with all the materials available to us,” said David Evans, teacher, South Island Distance Education. “There are activities and worksheets for all grade levels and ties back to the new learning standards. Thank you for helping us improve ways to be safer in our community.”

“Whether it’s learning how to safely cross the road, or understanding the rules of a four-way stop, road safety is important for all British Columbians,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s vice-president of public affairs and driver licensing. “As part of our commitment to promoting a safe driving culture in B.C., we’ve developed these road safety resources to help give children and young adults the tools they need to stay safe, now and in the future.”

The new material is downloadable, searchable and easily printable in its PDF format. The redesigned school materials align with the Ministry of Education’s new curriculum guidelines, which include:

  • incorporating Core Competencies, Big Ideas, and Learning Standards through the Know-Do-Understand model
  • focusing on personal safety, personal awareness, and personal/social responsibility
  • integrating the First Peoples Principles of Learning perspectives

Learn more about these resources available to educators at icbc.com/4teachers.

Tips on Buying a Car from a Different Province

Tips on Buying a Car from a Different Province

BY Justin Pritchard | AutoTrader.ca

For various reasons, you might want to buy a new or used vehicle in a province that’s not the province you live in. Maybe the price was too good to pass up, or you found the exact or rare combination of things you wanted in your car. Buying a car out of province might cause added stress, require additional paperwork, or result in some added questions or concerns.

Luckily, you’re totally allowed to buy a vehicle in any province you like, even if you don’t live there. Buying a car in your own province is usually the way to go, but if that’s not a possibility for the car you’re after or the situation you’re in, read on for some tips we have on buying a car from another province.

Local Requirements

When buying a new car, you’ll need to plate it, register it, and pay the sales taxes in the province where you live, regardless of the province where you bought the car. In this sense, the car is connected to you and to your province. Typically, you’ll need to have the car insured before much (or any) of the above can happen.

If you have multiple residences or regularly split your time between multiple provinces, you’ll probably need to register, plate, and pay taxes on the vehicle, based on the province listed on your driver’s licence.

Find the Right Dealer

Some dealerships will track down and obtain a new vehicle for you, even if it’s located in a different province. Other dealerships will not.

Some dealers trade vehicles amongst themselves, even between provinces, and others don’t. This varies widely by make, model, dealership, and the provinces in question. If you’re considering buying from another province, be sure to assess how it will work in your specific situation and locale.

Here’s one real-life example, highlighting one specific situation.

I recently decided to buy a new Volkswagen, but I wanted a very specifically equipped model. No unit with these options was, at the time, available at any dealership in Ontario, though numerous dealers in other provinces had exactly what I was looking for in stock.

In my situation, the local dealership in Sudbury (as well as several other Ontario dealerships I contacted), advised that they could not obtain the specific vehicle I was after in a timely fashion, even though this vehicle was physically available in Quebec, several hundred kilometres away.

I didn’t care where my new vehicle came from, but the Ontario dealers I was in contact with did care. This is one example of why a shopper may be tempted to go out of province to buy.

In my specific case, I special-ordered my vehicle from the local dealership, and waited seven weeks for it to arrive. The other option, which would have seen my new VW in the driveway much sooner, was to spend time, money, and energy driving to Quebec, buying there, and bringing the vehicle home somehow.

Note that some Canadian dealerships are happy to serve out-of-province shoppers and even have a reputation for being specialists in doing so. Other dealers, not so much. Translation? If you think you’ll be buying from another province, be sure to do your homework first. Call a dealership and chat to a salesperson. They do, after all, like selling cars.

Get Ready to Provide Additional Information

If you buy a new vehicle from a province you don’t live in, you’ll likely have to provide some additional information as part of the process of registering, plating, and paying the sales tax in your province.

This varies from province to province, but be prepared to show proof of insurance, an out-of-province ownership or title, a complete bill of sale, and more.

If the vehicle is from another country, or was (or remains) a commercial vehicle, additional information (including a certification of the vehicle’s weight versus manufacturer specification) may also be required.

There are no standard rules or regulations across all provinces, so be sure to check with your province’s transportation authority for the full scoop.

In-Transit Permit / Check Your Insurance

If you’re buying a new car in one province and driving it home to another, you may receive an in-transit permit, which allows you to take the vehicle directly back to your home province for registration and sales tax payment.

You’ll need to have your insurance sorted out before obtaining this permit. Since you can’t insure something you don’t own, you’ll also need to have completed the sale of the vehicle before getting the insurance coverage. Start by buying the vehicle, then obtain the insurance for it, and finally, get yourself that in-transit permit, if applicable.

Used Cars

If you buy a used car from another province, there may be further work required including the need to have the vehicle inspected and certified as per the safety standards in your own province, and more.

Added Costs

If you buy a vehicle from another province, you may incur higher costs for its purchase. For instance, if a local dealer obtains a vehicle on your behalf from an out-of-province dealer, they’ll incur vehicle shipping costs, which will likely be passed on to you.

If you buy a car in one province but live in another, you’ll also have to transfer the title and registration over to the province you live in. Usually, this has to happen within one to four weeks of your purchase (check the specifics for your province), and may involve additional fees and costs.

Sales Tax

If buying an out-of-province car, you’ll also have to pay the sales tax relative to the province you live in. Some dealers that specialize in out-of-province sales will handle this for you, but others will not.

One new car sales representative in Ontario told us, “We don’t see a lot of out-of-province purchases, though they do happen. It can be a hassle, however. If you buy a car from me but live in another province, you’d have to pay the Ontario sales tax here, and then go through a process to get that refunded once you return home, and pay the sales tax there instead.”

Consider the Pros and Cons

There are numerous reasons a shopper may want or need to buy a vehicle from a different province than the one they live in. With the right dealership involved and a little extra legwork on your part to re-register the vehicle and refund or repay the sales tax in the appropriate locale, the extra hassle should be manageable.

In other cases, buying out of province may not prove worth the extra effort, time, energy, and costs.

Maybe the vehicle you’re looking for is available for $2,200 cheaper just one province away, but the cost of travel and lodging to pick it up and get it home will eat up that savings quickly.

As this can be a time-consuming process, shoppers who may find the need to buy out of province are typically best to make early contact with the dealer of their choice and ask lots of questions as early as possible.

READ MORE ARTICLES BY Justin Pritchard is an automotive journalist, consultant, TV presenter, and photographer based in Sudbury, Ontario.

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