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

Crews called to overnight fire in Ellison

Kelowna Fire first received the call around 9:55 p.m.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

West Kelowna director nominated for Juno Award

Johnny Jansen directed B.C. band Said the Whale’s ‘Record Shop’ video

West Kelowna Warriors edge Vernon Vipers 6-4

The teams meet again on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. for the final game of regular season

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

BC Senior Curling titles to be decided in Vernon

Wes Craig, Penny Shantz looking for fifth championships; Steve Wright, Donna Mychaluk into finals

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Dale family was prominent in Summerland’s past

Ruth Dale taught for many years

Most Read