ICBC to Test App that Blocks Phone Use While Driving in B.C.


Distracted driving

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and the province are testing two new technologies to prevent the use of cell phones while driving i.e. a smart phone app for drivers and a camera for police officers, CBC News reports. ICBC is looking for 200 volunteers to sign up for the three-month pilot, which is set to start in January in B.C. 

“ICBC looked at the apps that were available on the market, stand-alone apps, and felt that they were insufficient to ensure that people were not using their phone while they were driving,” said Attorney General David Eby on Tuesday. He says ICBC has chosen instead to move forward with a pilot project involving an app that pairs with a plug-in device in a driver’s vehicle.

“The telematics device will tell the app that they’re driving and basically it will lock out hand-held use of their phone based on the fact that they’re driving,” said Mark Milner, a road safety program manager at ICBC.

ICBC will be surveying drivers throughout the pilot to see what the experience is like and whether it is effective at preventing them from picking up their phones. If pilot project proves successful, the province says it could lead to setting new, fairer rates for drivers.

At the same time, a $14,500 scope or camera will also be tested, that police officers will attach to either a smartphone or tablet to take pictures of drivers who are using their phones behind the wheel and then send that image to another police officer who can pull the distracted driver over. 

The Attorney General highlighted that the whole point of of this initiative is to drive down the number of collisions, to prevent the number of accidents, and to save lives.


  • FragilityG4

    They iOS distracted driving mode works perfectly! I urge everyone to enable it.

    For this plan to work, unfortunately, there would have to be some kind of financial incentive or legislation…. either way it’s a sad reality that safety come second to Facebook and Instagram.

  • bbousquet

    I haven’t touched my phone in the car since I got a CarPlay equipped car 2 months ago. As more and more cars get CarPlay or Android Auto and as clueless texting idiots end up in the ditch the issue will solve itself (mostly).

    I see so many drivers with their phone in hand while “driving” (i.e. struggling to stay in their lane)…

  • Yes, I see a tonne of those people too. When I see them, I honk at them. Scary stuff.

  • sukisszoze

    Good idea but how are they going to roll this out? It probably will need some kind of incentive like the other reader said. ICBC will need to set up a support network to help clueless drivers installing this and linking the app.

  • Olley

    Again, like I said before, they should develop a simple app that anyone with a smart phone can report violation with uploaded pics or vids and being rewarded with BC hydro gift cards or translink free passes.

  • Nyk0n

    Carplay is great been using it for 2 years love it. my phone stays buried in my console where i cant see it

  • bbousquet

    Only downside is I’ve been discovering all of French Siri’s issues, from weird sentences to confusing pronunciation – not to mention the lack of multilanguage support (i.e. texting someone in English while my UI is in French).