Beginning drivers are more than five times more likely to be involved in a crash than those with 20 years of experience. (Black Press files)

Making B.C.’s inexperienced drivers smarter than their phones

ICBC expands ‘telematics’ pilot to track speeding, hard braking, distraction

Inexperienced drivers will pay more for their vehicle insurance starting next year, and the Insurance Corp. of B.C. is inviting up to 7,000 of them to sign up for a smartphone-based training program to improve their skills.

The expanded “telematics” pilot project is open to drivers with less than five years of experience as a fully licensed driver. That includes “novice” drivers in B.C.’s graduated licence program.

An initial pilot program for recording drivers’ speed, braking and level of distraction showed enough results to expand the program with a small in-vehicle device that communicates with an app installed on a smartphone, ICBC says.

“We heard from those pilot participants that most believed the use of telematics would make the roads safer for everyone,” said ICBC president Nicolas Jiminez. “This is our next step in a thoughtful examination of telematics technology and how it might help keep these drivers safer.”

READ MORE: ICBC moves to tighten safe driver discount rules

ICBC says the most inexperienced drivers, those with less than one year fully licensed, are more than five times more likely to be involved in a crash and for that crash to be severe than a driver with 20 years of experience.

Interested drivers can sign up for updates at icbc.com/driverpilot to apply for the program that will launch next summer.

Rate increases for next year have been approved the B.C. Utilities Commission, which reviews monopoly services such as basic vehicle insurance, electricity and natural gas rates. Inexperienced drivers will have a higher rate that reduces with years of safe driving, and rates will be adjusted to reflect higher risk in urban areas and regional statistics.

The provincial Crown corporation has struggled with rising accident rate and big increases in injury claim and legal costs.

BC legislatureICBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ucluelet releases COVID-19 Recovery Plan

Part of the recovery plan involves deploying three district staff as COVID-19 Community Monitors

Tofino mayor urges “kindness” as tourism reopens

“Health and safety matters to everyone.”

Resorts in Tofino and Ucluelet prepare to reopen in June

“We need to get the tourist economy in our communities back up and running.”

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve plans limited reopening on June 4

The Park Reserve shut down on March 18 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Pacific Rim Hospice Society gifting free wellness “check-ins” to all West Coast residents

“This pandemic has led to a lot of isolation and it’s helpful for anybody just to have a soundboard.”

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Telegraph Cove Resort will open June 1 to self-contained campers only

Washrooms, showers and all other amenities will remain closed for now

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Most Read