ATTORNEY General David Eby on Tuesday announced a 6.4% basic-rate increase this year.
August 31, 2017
Long weekends are terrific – no one can dispute this – but they do mean increased traffic on the highways and a greater risk of getting in a collision. SGI is reminding motorists to do their part to make sure everyone gets to their destination safely.
“Whether you’re driving to see your family, heading to the lake, or coming into Regina for the big game, let’s make this Labour Day long weekend a safe one for everybody travelling Saskatchewan’s roads,” said Earl Cameron, Executive Vice-President of the Saskatchewan Auto Fund. “You can do that by driving sober, avoiding distractions, buckling up and obeying posted speed limits.”
Over the 2016 Labour Day long weekend, there were 265 collisions, resulting in four deaths and 55 injuries, according to preliminary data. Alcohol or drug impairment was a factor in two of those deaths and six injuries.
SGI offers the following tips for drivers hitting the road this Labour Day weekend:
- Drive sober – Your risk of a long weekend collision nearly doubles when alcohol is involved. Saskatchewan’s tough new laws mean penalties for impaired driving start at .04 blood alcohol content (BAC), with three-day vehicle impoundments and licence suspensions. There is zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol for new drivers and anyone 21 years of age and under. If your long weekend plans involve a few drinks, plan a safe ride. If your friend has been drinking, be a good Wingman and don’t let them get behind the wheel.
- Leave the phone alone – You’re controlling thousands of pounds of steel and glass travelling at high speeds, so that deserves your full attention. Distracted driving is the second-leading cause of fatal collisions in Saskatchewan. If you get caught driving with your phone in hand, it’s a $280 fine and four demerit points. Experienced drivers can only use their phone if it’s mounted on the dash or visor, using the one-touch or voice-activated function. Drivers in the Graduated Driver’s Licensing program are prohibited from using the phone entirely.
- Buckle up – Seatbelts have been the law in Saskatchewan for 40 years, yet in 27 per cent of fatalities last year, someone wasn’t restrained properly. Seatbelts are mandatory for everyone and child safety seats are required for all children under seven years old.
- Don’t speed – Hey, it’s the LONG weekend, so you’ve got plenty of time to get there. Obey posted speed limits, and watch out for construction zones and school zones where speeding tickets are even more expensive. Also, with harvest underway, slow down and be patient around any farm equipment that may be travelling along our highways and rural roads.
Customer Contact Centre
775-6900 in Regina
182 motorists caught speeding in work zones during July Traffic Safety Spotlight
Aug. 28, 2017
July was another busy month for law enforcement as they focused on catching drivers speeding in both municipal and highway work zones. During the monthly Traffic Safety Spotlight, 182 tickets were issued in construction zones, all related to speeding1:
- 177 tickets for exceeding 60 km/h while passing highway workers or occupied highway equipment within a work zone
- 5 tickets for speeding in construction zones where a flag person is present
As there are still many road construction projects across the province, SGI reminds motorists to obey speed limits and exercise caution when driving in work zones. If the work zone is signed, drivers must slow to the posted speed limits, regardless of whether workers are present. Base fines for speeding in a construction zone are triple that of a regular speeding ticket.
Other results from July’s Traffic Safety Spotlight:
- 5,514 tickets for speeding or aggressive driving
- 522 tickets for inappropriate or no seatbelt/child restraint
- 462 tickets for distracted driving (including 337 for cellphone use)
- 382 impaired driving offences (including 327 Criminal Code charges)
As the wildfires continue throughout B.C., ICBC remains committed to its customers by providing flexible and expedient service related to this situation.
ICBC has received 124 insurance claims related to the fires so far. Most vehicle damage claims were related to extreme heat and smoke damage, with some vehicles even rendered as total losses. These claims have cost ICBC approximately $500,000 to date.
Recognizing that we’re experiencing the worst wildfire season in the province’s history, ICBC has also made the following formal changes to its policies to reflect these special circumstances for customers on evacuation alert:
Allowing customers to purchase ICBC’s comprehensive coverage after a policy expires:
Customers whose ICBC comprehensive insurance coverage has recently expired will still be able to purchase this coverage in most situations. Contact your Autoplan broker for more details.
Allowing customers to purchase ICBC’s optional insurance for vehicles purchased from an automobile dealer:
Customers who already have, or have previously purchased, ICBC optional coverage, or who have never insured a vehicle in B.C., will be able to purchase full ICBC optional coverage for their newly acquired vehicle.
“Our goal is to be as responsive as possible to our customers who are caught in these unfortunate situations,” said Mark Blucher, ICBC’s president and CEO. “We have insurance and claims experts who are focused on responding to our customers’ needs and supporting our brokers under these trying circumstances.”
ICBC’s Autoplan broker partners are available to serve customers, while ICBC will continue to review all claims on a case-by-case basis and make every effort to expedite wildfire claims. Customers with a fire claim can simply file their claim online or call ICBC’s customer service centre at 1-800-663-3051.
Collision likelihood increases; don’t become a statistic
August 3, 2017
According to a new survey completed by Insights West, most drivers say that driving in the province has gotten worse in the last five years – pointing at bad driving behaviours as one of the top contributors to B.C.’s road problems.
Respondents feel that drivers today are more distracted, more aggressive and more impatient, making driving in B.C. more dangerous.
Despite this, the survey also found that 99% of all respondents considered themselves to be good or excellent drivers. Yet the same respondents:
incorrectly answered road test questions (over 3/4 of respondents, 78%, got at least one incorrect),
admitted to being an aggressive driver (1/5 of respondents, 18%),
said they might not follow road rules to make up time while driving (over 1/3 of respondents, 37%)
felt that it was OK to ‘bend the rules’ every once in a while if no other drivers were around (1/3 of respondents, 32%), and
confessed to driving in an emotional state at least some of the time (99% of all respondents).
ICBC has seen a marked increase in crashes in the last few years. The number of crashes across B.C. has jumped by 23 per cent in just three years – from 260,000 in 2013 to 320,000 in 2016. That’s an average of 875 crashes per day in the province.
To help combat this growing issue, ICBC is launching a new road safety campaign to encourage all drivers to reflect on their driving habits. The campaign will focus on many critical components to being a safe driver: our knowledge of the rules of the road, how we behave behind the wheel, and our attitude toward our responsibility as a driver. The campaign will include media advertisements, partnerships, public outreach and online resources, including an online quiz to help shine a light on areas where drivers may need improvement.
“Ultimately, our goal is to reduce the number crashes in B.C.,” said Mark Blucher, ICBC’s president and CEO. “Not only do crashes impact lives and cause serious damage, they also translate into costs pressures that affect insurance rates for all B.C. drivers. We’re asking everyone to help by doing their part through our Drive Smart campaign.”
“Ninety-six per cent of survey respondents were aware they have a critical role to play in improving the safety of our roads in B.C.,” said Mario Canseco, vice president of public affairs at Insights West. “This is a great starting point to open a dialogue with all drivers to take a look at their habits.”