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ICBC urges caution as pedestrian injuries nearly double

ICBC urges caution as pedestrian injuries nearly double

Almost double the number of pedestrians are injured in crashes from October to January as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease.*

That’s why today, ICBC is launching a pedestrian safety campaign with police and TransLink to urge pedestrians and drivers to stay safe as crashes with pedestrians spike at this time of year.

Pedestrian safety is a serious concern in B.C. – they’re the most vulnerable road user to be injured when a crash occurs. Drivers should take extra time to look for pedestrians before turning especially near transit stops, avoid distractions and be ready to yield.

Pedestrians can help stay safe by making eye contact, watching for drivers turning left or right at intersections, and using designated crosswalks.

ICBC, TransLink and community policing volunteers will be handing out reflectors and safety tips in high pedestrian traffic areas across the province to help pedestrians stay visible.

This year’s campaign features online advertising that reminds drivers: you see pedestrians when you really look for them.

Learn more with ICBC’s infographic and tips.

Quotes:

Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee

“This is the time of year when police see an increasing number of crashes involving pedestrians. We all have a part to play to make our streets safer. Drivers should know that distracted driving and failing to stop for people walking at intersections are some of the top factors in crashes with pedestrians. Pedestrians also need to be careful and aware. We encourage them to take out their headphones and take a break from the phone when crossing the road. Reflective gear, particularly on anything moving such as arms and legs, helps pedestrians be far more visible to drivers.”

Derek Stewart, TransLink Director of Safety and Emergency Management

“Everyone needs to be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially at this time of year when daylight hours are decreasing and weather conditions are changing. Pedestrians should never assume that they can be seen, even when using a crosswalk. Step out onto the street only when there’s certainty that it’s safe to do so. It’s vital that we all work together to avoid accidents or injuries involving pedestrians.”

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

“Even when drivers proceed with caution, it’s hard to see pedestrians at this time of year when visibility is poor. Crashes with pedestrians are highest between 3pm and 6pm every day, when most of us are commuting home from school and work. Please focus on the road and leave your phone alone. It’s time we all do our part to create a safer driving culture in B.C.”

Regional statistics**:

  • In the Lower Mainland every year, on average, 2,300 crashes involve a pedestrian.

  • On Vancouver Island every year, on average, 390 crashes involve a pedestrian.

  • In the Southern Interior every year, on average, 280 crashes involve a pedestrian.

  • In the North Central region every year, on average, 87 crashes involve a pedestrian.


Editor’s note:
Pedestrian involved crash statistics for B.C. communities are available upon request.

*In B.C., 1,200 pedestrians are injured in crashes between October and January and 670 pedestrians are injured between May and August. ICBC data based on five year average from 2014 to 2018.

**ICBC data based on five-year average from 2014 to 2018.

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

By Tom Fletcher | Victoria News

Private insurers say they would be happy to take B.C. Attorney General David Eby up on his challenge to compete with ICBC for optional insurance, if the Crown corporation would share its driver history information directly with them.

“ICBC denies other insurers access to a customer’s driving record and accident history, as well as to the claims information that all insurers need to price and sell auto insurance,” the Insurance Bureau of Canada said in a statement released Friday. “As the monopoly insurer in the province, ICBC holds this information and uses it to price its products.”

The private insurance industry group was responding to Eby’s comments last week about big increases for new drivers as ICBC moves to a new risk-based rate structure. Eby said the biggest increase in mandatory basic liability insurance new drivers will face is 12 per cent, or about $200 a year.

It’s the optional insurance, including collision repair, where younger drivers are facing the biggest increases, Eby said, and if private insurers believe they can do it at a lower price, “they should do so.”

Vehicle insurers make driver information available between companies everywhere else in Canada, including Quebec, where the government insurer shares driver data, the Insurance Bureau of Canada says. That’s why Quebec has more than 100 private insurers competing for optional insurance, and B.C. has “only two insurers that compete with ICBC in any meaningful sense.”

Eby has argued that drivers can retrieve their own driving records from ICBC online and take them to a private insurer to compare rates. Private insurers say that is the barrier that prevents better competition in B.C.

“If the Attorney General is suggesting that he will force ICBC to provide other insurers with the data they need to sell auto insurance in B.C., other insurers will gladly provide British Columbians with the choice they deserve,” the bureau said. “Given ICBC’s current performance, it’s a choice that’s desperately needed.”

Source:

Victoria News

ICBC encourages drivers to be prepared for changing road conditions over the Thanksgiving long weekend

ICBC encourages drivers to be prepared for changing road conditions over the Thanksgiving long weekend

As British Columbians get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, ICBC is advising drivers that they may encounter challenging road conditions as they travel throughout the province.

The Thanksgiving long weekend has historically been one of the more dangerous long weekends on B.C. roads with an average of 2,200 crashes, nearly 700 people injured and four killed.*

It’s only a few weeks into fall and snow has already blanketed parts of B.C. As of October 1st, winter tires or chains are mandatory on many B.C. highways, including Highway 99 from Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton, the Malahat portion of Highway 1 on Vancouver Island, and most highways throughout the southern interior and northern B.C.

Keep in mind the following tips to stay safe:

  • Plan your route ahead of time. Check weather and road conditions on drivebc.ca before you get behind the wheel. Take long weekend traffic into account and allow extra time to get to your destination.

  • Check your tires. Winter tires or chains are now required on many B.C. highways. Winter tires are labelled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M&S designation). Also, make sure your tires have adequate tread and are properly inflated.

  • Slow down on wet roads. Allow yourself at least twice the normal braking distance on wet, slippery roads or on roads covered in leaves. Keep in mind that posted speed limits are intended for ideal conditions.

  • Put your phone away. Focus on the road, minimize distractions and pay attention to your surroundings.

  • Watch for pedestrians and cyclists. Daylight steadily decreases with each passing day in October and it can be difficult to see pedestrians and cyclists, especially around intersections.

Regional statistics:

  • About 520 people are injured in 1,400 crashes in the Lower Mainland over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

  • About 84 people are injured in 290 crashes on Vancouver Island over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

  • About 58 people are injured in 300 crashes in the Southern Interior over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

  • About 19 people are injured in 140 crashes in North Central B.C. over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

*Thanksgiving weekend crashes are calculated from 18:00 the Friday prior to the holiday to midnight Monday. Crash and injury data is ICBC data (5-year average, 2014 – 2018). Fatality data is provided by police (5-year average, 2013-2017).

Canadian Federation of Independent Business joins Driving Choice campaign

VANCOUVER, Oct. 8, 2019 /CNW/ – Driving Choice is pleased to announce that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has joined as a partner of the campaign calling for more choice and competition in auto insurance in British Columbia (BC).

Like most drivers, business owners are fed up. A recent survey of independent businesses in BC found 75% want ICBC’s monopoly to end. They want a choice in where they buy auto insurance and want to have the ability to shop around to find savings – just like the vast majority of other Canadians.

“It’s time drivers and small businesses in British Columbia had the ability to choose the auto insurance provider that’s right for them,” said Aaron Aerts, Western Canada economist with the CFIB. “The Driving Choice campaign is a great initiative that gives businesses and drivers a voice to spur meaningful change in the province. It’s time for ICBC to compete for its business.”

CFIB joins more than 5,000 British Columbians who have already signed on in support of the Driving Choice campaign since its launch in mid-September.

“The overwhelming majority of drivers in BC have stated clearly that they want more choice in auto insurance,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “With CFIB joining the Driving Choice campaign, it’s clear small businesses want the same.”

Under ICBC’s monopoly, BC drivers pay the highest auto insurance rates in Canada, yet receive a level of benefits similar to drivers in other provinces when they make a claim. In Alberta, drivers pay over $500 less on average for the same level of coverage.

While the BC government is reforming the product, ICBC is still projecting that it will raise rates by $1.74 billion over the next three years. Driving Choice is giving British Columbians a voice so they can let their MLAs know they want choice in auto insurance.

To join Driving Choice and make your voice heard, contact your MLA through www.drivingchoice.ca. Follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

Additional resources

About Driving Choice
Driving Choice is a non-partisan campaign seeking to provide a voice to British Columbians who want more choice in auto insurance. Canadian auto insurers are eager to compete dollar-for-dollar with ICBC and believe they can sell the same auto insurance for less. If other auto insurers could save drivers money, why not let them? Change will only occur if drivers – and taxpayers – make their voices heard. Join Driving Choice and speak up to demand choice from your MLAs.

About Canadian Federation of Independent Business
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest non-profit organization devoted to creating and supporting an environment where business can succeed. Since 1971, the organization has advocated on behalf of small businesses with politicians and decision makers.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, contributes $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @IBC_West and like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422).

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Vanessa Barrasa, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312, vbarrasa@ibc.ca

Related Links

www.ibc.ca

Big insurance-price jumps for out-of-province drivers

The excerpredted article was written by Andrew Duffy | Times Colonist

Some part-time B.C. residents are in for sticker shock when they go to renew their vehicle insurance, thanks to new regulations brought into force in September.

Under the new rules, aimed at helping Insurance Corp. of B.C. to improve its finances, part-time B.C. residents who hold a driver’s licence from another jurisdiction will no longer qualify for driver-experience discounts.

Some part-time B.C. residents are in for sticker shock when they go to renew their vehicle insurance, thanks to new regulations brought into force in September.

Under the new rules, aimed at helping Insurance Corp. of B.C. to improve its finances, part-time B.C. residents who hold a driver’s licence from another jurisdiction will no longer qualify for driver-experience discounts.

MacLeod, who splits his time between his home in Hamilton, Ont., and the Salt Spring home he bought in 2007, said the provincial government is taking a run at those not considered B.C. residents.

“This is simply another whack at the people who did not take the hint with the speculation tax that the Horgan government does not want anyone in B.C. who is not a full-time resident,” he said. “I was absolutely horrified by this [increase], and even the $1,008 I paid last year was an increase of about 20 per cent.”

MacLeod dodged the speculation tax when, after criticism that the tax unfairly hit B.C. residents, Finance Minister Carole James announced it would be changed to exclude areas such as the Gulf Islands and Parksville-Qualicum.

But he couldn’t dodge the insurance changes. At 72, MacLeod, who has been driving since 1963, was told he would no longer be eligible to claim an experienced driver discount and would face a hike.

He paid his insurance bill, but increased his deductible to $2,500, from $500, which dropped his bill to $2,312.

“But now I am assuming $2,000 in liability I didn’t have last year,” he said, adding he is now paying more for insurance for a used Subaru than he does for his Corvette convertible back in Ontario, despite a clean driving record and no tickets.

Despite repeated requests, no one from ICBC or the Attorney General’s Ministry was made available to comment.

The changes stem from ICBC’s switch from a vehicle-based insurance model to a driver-based one. Without holding a B.C. driver’s licence, non-residents used to be able to benefit from discounts based on how long they had insured their vehicles in B.C., but ICBC is now using a driver-based model that relies on driving experience in B.C.

In hopes of having ICBC review the situation, MacLeod signed a disclosure agreement waiving his privacy rights, which allowed ICBC to comment on his policy rate.

But it’s unclear why an experienced driver from another jurisdiction in Canada wouldn’t be able to provide a provincial record or abstract to be able to claim an experience discount, or how many drivers could be affected by the change.

Drivers such as MacLeod have been advised, instead, to purchase a storage policy for when the vehicle isn’t in use and purchase short-term policies for when it is.

MacLeod said he and his wife spend about three months a year in B.C., and intend to continue to do so. “The smart thing is to sell the place and go and buy a place in Muskoka I guess, but I don’t want to do that.

“We like it here. We have friends here and are part of a community.”

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