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Higher Insurance Premiums Set to Hit Distracted Drivers in B.C.

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According to a CBC News report, British Columbia’s provincial government has announced that distracted drivers will be charged with higher insurance premiums as the behaviour is now considered high-risk under the ICBC Driver Risk Premium program. For those who aren’t aware, Driver Risk Premium charges are fees above and beyond a regular car insurance plan, and may be charged even if the vehicle is not insured.

Driving

Over 12,000 drivers in B.C. currently have multiple distracted driving offences. The announcement effectively means that a driver with two distracted driving tickets in a three-year period could see their financial penalties rise up to as much as $2,000. This would result in an extra $3 million to $5 million in additional premiums for the provincial insurance corporation.

According to Attorney General David Eby, the measure is meant to curb the dangerous behaviour.

“Distracted driving continues to put people in danger and significant pressure on insurance rates for all drivers,” he said in a statement. “Taking action to improve safety and penalize dangerous behaviours benefits all British Columbians and is another step in the right direction.”

According to the government, more than 25 per cent of all car crash fatalities in B.C. occur due to distracted driving. The behaviour kills an average of 78 people each year.

The higher premiums will go into effect on March 1, 2018.

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  • Olley

    I don’t think increasing fine by 700 bucks would make a significant difference. Would be more effective/fun if ICBC allowed pedestrians to report violation via a phone app by uploading pics or vids.

  • Joe

    I don’t think that’s very fair. It should be based on income. $2000 over 3 years is affordable for people who just bought an iPhone X, but what about your hypothetical guy who delivers pizzas?

    The government already has our income from tax data. This is not hard.

  • Fractured, But Whole

    Yeah, that’s not a very good idea.

  • Olley

    oh in the mean time ICBC should have a dispute system in place for those who disagree. but what’d really prevent distracted driving is the hassle of taking days off to go to court or what not, not the fine itself.

  • Victorious Secret

    All the more reason for the pizza guy NOT to look at his phone.

    Of course its not fair, thats the point.

  • Brad

    So what you’re saying is that it’s ok if a person who earns less causes an accident, but if another person earns more, they should be held liable? It’s not about affordability – it’s about savings lives. The law is designed to prevent accidents and hopefully deaths. The rule should be the same regardless if someone earns 30,000 a year or 300,000. You can’t discriminate someone because they earn more or less – We are all equally responsible for each other on the road.

  • raslucas

    The damage is the same from an accident no matter how much a driver makes… so no it should not be based on income. Maybe the basic premium could be weighed slightly based on income, but punitive charges? Do you think a Lexus does more damage to a person than an old Ford Truck? (Or some other more relevant analogy? Somebody help me out here…)

  • Rabid Rotty

    You must be one of them low earning liberals that want “fairness” yet thinks he is entitled to text and drive. I’m guessing you have had more than 3 tickets in a year for such related offenses. And to these Hypothetical vPizza delivery guys, it’s not hard nor expensive to buy a Bluetooth earpiece or device, or to pull over for 5 minutes. Your argument is invalid.

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