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

Spardell Trailer Park residents left without running water for three days

Multiple residents told The Free Press it was an ongoing, seemingly endless problem

Sparwood’s Causeway Bay Hotel reports COVID-positive guest

The hotel manager said guests who ate at the Gateway Restaurant at the same time do not need to be tested

Mugshots Cafe is revived via new ownership

The cafe was purchased from its previous owner on August 1

City of Fernie issues water upgrade updates

City changes include construction, water restrictions, and a water quality advisory

Business Beat

Kaitlyn Poirier joins ET Hair Salon

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read