Quality B.C. driver education could cut down crashes: expert

Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press

There aren’t many B.C. driving schools that teach the Graduated Licencing Program (GLP), and that may be one of the factors that’s costing ICBC, said one expert.

“A lot of problems can be solved with decent driver education, and ICBC has never embraced the driving education as a tool to reduce crashes,” said Steve Wallace, Western Canadian vice-president of the Driving Schools Association.

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Wallace said that, out of 647 driving schools in the province, only 56 of them offer the GLP.

“What are the others doing?” he asked.

“There are just too many schools out there that are car rental facilities for the road test, where they concentrate on the road test, road test, road test.”

Wallace said ICBC should provide a greater incentive to ensure the course is taught.

“You want to get as many people [as possible] taking some driver education course, and it’s been proven that even if people take two, three or four lessons, even one lesson, they have a tendency to lower crash rates,” he said.

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The good news though, according to Wallace, is that B.C.’s road test is among the toughest in the world.

“Our tests, when people look at it in the driving school industry…  they look at our test and say, ‘wow,'” he said.

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