ICBC’s tips for teaching your teen to be a safe driver

ICBC’s tips for teaching your teen to be a safe driver

Every day in B.C., 129 teens get their learner’s licence. With students out for summer break, that number peaks in our province as teens are eager to spend their free time learning to drive and becoming more independent.

In an ICBC survey, 29 per cent of parents surveyed believed their teens had picked up a bad driving habit from them. The most common habits were speeding, not coming to a complete stop, impatience, eating while driving and not shoulder checking. Survey respondents also revealed that if they could teach their teen over again, they would enroll them in professional driving lessons.

ICBC’s top five tips for parents:

1. Set a good example: Once your teen has passed the knowledge and vision tests, they’ll get a class 7 learner’s licence and can now get behind the wheel with a qualified supervisor. Review your teen’s copy of ICBC’s Tuning Up for Drivers guide to brush up on the rules of the road, work on any bad driving habits and learn about the restrictions of each stage of the graduated licensing program so that you can make sure your teen follows them.

2. Gearing up: The type of car your teen learns to drive on can make a big difference. It’s best to learn on a vehicle that’s a manageable size, has good visibility, an automatic transmission and as many safety features as possible. Begin your driving lessons on roads with minimal traffic and avoid rush hour congestion to help build your teen’s confidence and ease their nerves.

3. Call in the experts: To help your teen gain as much driving experience as possible consider signing them up for lessons through a professional driving school if you can. Instructors can be objective without the emotion that’s often involved in parent-teen relationships. If you do choose this route, stay involved and discuss what they’re learning.

4. Test it out: To prepare for your teen’s road test, practice driving as much as possible at different times of the day, in different weather and road conditions and in unfamiliar neighbourhoods. That way they’ll be prepared for whatever conditions they encounter on the day of their road test. Teens can also take ICBC’s road ready quiz to help them avoid common driving mistakes.

5. Keep them safe: Once your teen has passed their class 7 road test and can now drive without a supervisor, consider creating a family contract. It helps set out your expectations of your teen, the responsibilities you want them to show on the road and the consequences for breaking those rules.

If your teen will be driving your vehicle, review your insurance coverage. If your vehicle is rated in an experienced rate class (all drivers in a household with at least 10 years’ driving experience), you’ll need to change the rate class.

Teens can find the redesigned practice knowledge test, video driving tips and road signs practice test on icbc.com. The practice knowledge test can also be downloaded as an app free from the Apple App
Store.

Media contact:
Lindsay Olsen
604-982-4759

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Regulatory Spotlight On Usage-Based Automobile Insurance In Ontario And Quebec

By Michael Garellek and Joey Suri (Articling Student)

Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP

Many Canadian automobile drivers have now enrolled in usage-based insurance (“UBI“) programs to benefit from a discount on their insurance premiums. Using telematics, UBI programs record several factors such as acceleration, hard braking, mileage driven, time of day travelled and sharp turns to analyze driving behaviour and reward safe driving. New technology now allows smartphone applications to track such driving habits.

Currently, only certain insurers in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec offer such UBI programs. Similar programs are expected to launch in the provinces of Alberta and Nova Scotia in the upcoming year.

This technology can be particularly useful for certain groups of consumers, such as younger drivers, allowing insurers to set a premium based on their actual driving habits rather than statistics drawn from other drivers of a similar demographic.. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (“FSCO“) has stated that these programs also incite safe driving practices and could result in fewer accidents on the road.

However, concerns have been raised regarding the use of this technology, particularly regarding privacy and the use of the collected data.

Personal information

In a bulletin published concerning UBI’s in October 2013, FSCO stated that the data collected through UBI technologies should be treated as “personal information” as defined in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and that insurers must comply with all applicable legislation. This legislation includes requirements that organizations obtain an individual’s consent to collect, use or disclose his personal information, and use appropriate safeguards to protect any personal information held by organizations.

FSCO expects insurers to disclose the impact of the operation of the vehicle by a person other than the policyholder. Furthermore, in Ontario, pricing programs related to UBI must be filed and approved by FSCO’s Superintendant and where the enrollment discount is only offered for one term, or where the impact of the actual pricing program discount is expected to differ materially from the enrollment discount, the insurer will be required to submit annual reports to the Superintendent.

Following in the footsteps of FSCO, the Autorité des marches financiers (“AMF“), which regulates the automobile insurance industry in Quebec, published on April 9, 2015, a Notice regarding the offering of usage-based automobile insurance products (“Notice“), outlining its expectations for UBI programs. Similarly, it stated that the collected data must be treated as “personal information” and that insurers must comply with the provisions of An Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector.

Regulatory oversight

The AMF is of the opinion that the existing supervisory framework, in particular the Sound Commercial Practices Guideline and the Outsourcing Risk Management Guideline, apply to UBI programs.

The AMF, like FSCO, states that participation by consumers in UBI programs should be done on a voluntary basis only, and expects them to be properly informed about the program and the changes made to it during the term of the insurance contract. For instance, it expects consumers to be informed of:

  • program eligibility criteria;
  • type of data collected;
  • use of data (e.g., as part of an investigation for the settlement of a claim, where applicable);
  • impact of data on automobile insurance premiums;
  • period used for insurance premium reviews.

Regulators expect insurers to make the consumer’s UBI data accessible to them. In our view, the advent of smartphone UBI apps will make it easier to comply with this requirement. They also expect insurers to cease receiving data once the consumer opts out of a UBI program, and that data should not be used to decline, terminate or refuse to renew an insurance policy.

It is interesting to note that earlier this year, the Société d’assurance automobile du Québec (the “SAAQ“), Quebec’s public automobile insurance plan, announced a voluntary UBI program to be introduced in 2016. The SAAQ and the Quebec Transport Ministry have also indicated that the tracking device may become mandatory for convicted dangerous drivers.

We can assist insurers with any regulatory issues related to UBI and in ensuring their programs are compliant with the applicable privacy laws.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Source: Mondaq

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CounterAttack roadchecks begin July 1st

CounterAttack roadchecks begin July 1st

 

During the summer months, one person is killed every three days in impaired-related crashes in B.C. That’s why the B.C. government, ICBC and police will be kicking off the CounterAttack campaign on July 1st to keep impaired drivers off our roads this summer.

Whether you’re out golfing, boating or at a BBQ with friends, everyone needs to plan ahead for a safe ride home this summer – arrange a designated driver, call a taxi or take transit. Police will be looking for impaired drivers at CounterAttack roadchecks across the province.

With so many options to get home safely, there is no excuse to drive while impaired. But some drivers still aren’t getting the message – here are the top excuses given by impaired drivers to police at CounterAttack roadchecks:

  • “My girlfriend was too drunk to make it home from the bar, so I’m going to pick her up.”
  • “I’m an idiot!”
  • “But I have a driver’s licence, no one else had a driver’s licence!”
  • “I don’t feel drunk!”
  • “I’m only two blocks from home.”
  • “Mom told me to bring the truck home.”
  • “I had to pick up my husband.”

ICBC supports CounterAttack with funding for enhanced police enforcement and an education campaign which promotes the use of designated drivers. Learn interesting facts in ICBC’s infographic and get tips on icbc.com.

Quotes:

“We’ve seen significant reductions in alcohol-related fatalities in B.C. since we introduced tougher legislation – and in addition, we have hundreds of officers trained to assess drug impairment and remove drugged drivers from our roads immediately,” said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “But some people still aren’t taking the issue seriously. That’s why we’ll continue to support enhanced enforcement to intercept those who put other road users in danger.”

“Too many families are suffering from the tragic loss of a loved one in an impaired related crash,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Help keep your loved ones safe on our roads by making sure you have a plan to get home safely before you head out.”

“Driving while impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is never worth the risk,” said Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or arrest are significant and can last a lifetime. Police across B.C. will be looking for impaired drivers at CounterAttack roadchecks this summer.”

“We want everyone to enjoy their summer and have a good time – just make sure to include a plan for a safe ride home,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety. “Share the responsibility of being the designated driver to make sure your friends and family get home safe this summer.”

Editor’s note:

Lower Mainland media will be invited to attend an evening CounterAttack roadcheck on Friday, July 3; police will issue a media advisory on July 2. Several police detachments throughout B.C. will also invite media to attend CounterAttack roadchecks in their communities on July 3.

Regional statistics*:

  • In B.C., an average of 42 people are killed in impaired-related crashes during the summer months every year. That’s one person killed every three days.
  • In the Lower Mainland, an average of 10 people are killed in impaired-related crashes during the summer months every year.
  • On Vancouver Island, an average of six people are killed in impaired-related crashes during the summer months every year.
  • In the Southern Interior, an average of 14 people are killed in impaired-related crashes during the summer months every year.
  • In North Central B.C., an average of 13 people are killed in impaired-related crashes during the summer months every year.

* Five year average from June to September. Fatal victim counts are from police data (2009 to 2013); crashes and injured victim counts are from ICBC data (2009 to 2013). Impaired is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines.

Canada Day statistics:**

  • Every Canada Day, an average of 164 people are injured in 603 crashes throughout B.C.
  • Every Canada Day, an average of 115 people are injured in 370 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
  • Every Canada Day, an average of 19 people are injured in 90 crashes on Vancouver Island.
  • Every Canada Day, an average of 22 people are injured in 97 crashes in the Southern Interior.
  • Every Canada Day, an average of 7 people are injured in 37 crashes in the North Centralregion.

**July 1 (Canada Day) is calculated from (00:00) to (midnight) including incidents where the time was not reported. Five-year average from police data (2009 to 2013).

Media contact:
Michelle Hargrave
250-979-4642

What do I Have to Tell Police During a Traffic Stop?

Ticket WriterWhat do you have to tell police when you are the subject of a traffic stop? I’ve often been asked about whether you have to answer the casual conversation at a road check that might include questions like Where are you coming from? Where are you going to? How much have you had to drink tonight? The answer is no, you don’t.

Occasionally I would stop a driver who had committed a traffic violation that would roll down their driver’s window half an inch, poke their driver’s licence out and roll the window back up to await service of a ticket. There are a multitude of reasons for doing this, most innocent, but the first thing that had to come to my mind was that they were trying to hide something and it was my job to find out. It was usually the odour of liquor that the driver did not want wafted in my direction.

I did have one tool at my disposal to force a short conversation. A driver must state his name and address and the name and address of the vehicle’s registered owner when requested to do so by police. This is also useful for what is known as the Shriver’s Test. Case law has established that these answers, when compared to what is shown on the driver’s licence, strengthens the identification of the driver if they match.

Answers to other questions are optional and it is up to you to decide whether you want to provide the information or not. If you choose not to, state your position politely and request that any documents be returned to you so that you may proceed once the officer has completed his or her inquiries.

Reference Links:

 

  • Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years, he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and ten as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web site.

Keep kids safe on our roads this summer, ICBC urges drivers and parents

Source: ICBC

Hot weather came early to B.C. this year but that means even more children will be playing outside now that school’s getting out for summer break. Road safety is not always top of mind for kids so it’s important to go over the rules of the road if you’re a parent and pay extra attention when you’re behind the wheel, especially around playgrounds and residential areas.

Child-cyclist-safetyOn average, 153 child pedestrians (aged five to 15) are injured in crashes each year in B.C.*

Top tips for drivers:

  • Slow down: With more children playing outside in the summer, be cautious and watch your speed, especially near playgrounds, parks and in residential areas. Playground speed limits remain in effect year-round.

  • Watch for clues: In residential areas, a hockey net or ball can mean that kids are playing nearby. Remember that a child could dash into the street at any moment. Pay attention and always anticipate the unexpected.

  • Watch for cyclists: Actively watch for cyclists on the road who might be harder to see. Make eye contact with them whenever possible to let them know you have seen them. Shoulder check for cyclists before turning right and watch for oncoming cyclists before turning left.

Top tips for parents:

  • Focus on the basics: Go over these important road safety tips with your children – even older children need to be reminded about road safety.

  • Set a good example: Never jaywalk or run across the street. Where possible, cross at intersections with a pedestrian crossing light or marked crossing.

  • Parked vehicles: Encourage your children to avoid shortcuts through parking lots or around parked cars where it’s harder for drivers to see small children.

  • Safe driving with children: Relatives, friends’ parents, and other caregivers often transport children in the summer. The law requires children be secured in car seats or booster seats until they are four feet nine inches tall or at least nine years old. Make sure your children’s seats or boosters goes with them if they might travel without you by car.

  • Cycling 101: Cyclist injuries from crashes with vehicles peak in July and August. It’s never too early to teach your children safe cycling behaviour – it could help make it second-nature to them when they’re older. Start by covering these basics:

    • Cycle in a straight line, avoid weaving and try to be as predictable as possible.

    • When sharing a path with pedestrians, ride on the right hand side for everyone’s safety. Use a bell or horn to alert others when you plan to pass.

    • When turning, shoulder check well in advance, hand signal and then with both hands on the handle bars, shoulder check again before turning.

    • Make sure children wear approved helmets that meet safety standards every time they ride their bikes and periodically inspect them for signs of wear.

Regional statistics*:

  • On average, 108 child pedestrians (aged five to 15) are injured in crashes each year in the Lower Mainland.

  • On average, 19 child pedestrians (aged five to 15) are injured in crashes each year on Vancouver Island.

  • On average, 17 child pedestrians (aged five to 15) are injured in crashes each year in the Southern Interior.

  • On average, seven child pedestrians (aged five to 15) are injured in crashes each year in the North Central region.

*Notes: ICBC crash and injury data used (2009 to 2013).

US safety agency investigates Jeep Wranglers; wiring problem may stop air bags from inflating

U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that a wiring problem in Jeep Wrangler steering wheels could stop the air bags from inflating in a crash.

The probe covers about 630,000 Wranglers from the 2007 through 2012 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 221 complaints that the air bag warning light is illuminating, indicating an electrical problem in the steering wheel. Jeep maker Fiat Chrysler recalled some right-hand-drive Wranglers in 2011 for the same problem. Now the agency is looking at left-hand-drive vehicles.

The agency reports no crashes or injuries because of the problem. The investigation could lead to another recall.

Fiat Chrysler says it is co-operating in the investigation. Owners whose air bag lights come on should contact their dealer.

canada-press

 

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