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ICBC launching telematics pilot project to improve driving behaviour

A driver texts while at the wheel in this photo illustration Wednesday, January 25, 2017 in Montreal. .
A driver texts while at the wheel in this photo illustration Wednesday, January 25, 2017 in Montreal. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

If you have less than four years of driving experience, ICBC wants your help.

On Tuesday, the public insurer launched a one-year pilot project that looks to improve driver behaviour through the use of technology. ICBC is recruiting as many as 7,000 drivers to attach a smart tag to their windshield that will pair with an app installed on their smartphone.

READ MORE: ICBC launching new pilot project aimed at inexperienced drivers

For each trip, the app collects data on driving behaviours like speeding, braking patterns and levels of distracted driving to provide an overall score. Drivers with less than four years of experience, either in the novice stage of the graduated licensing program or with a full licence, are eligible to join.

“We’re looking for ways to improve auto insurance in B.C. and this pilot is just one of the many actions government and ICBC are taking to do that,” NDP MLA Bowinn Ma said.

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“This pilot will help us reward the kind of good driving behaviour that is critical to making B.C. roads safer for all users.”

WATCH (Aired November 29, 2018): ICBC launches new program for new drivers

ICBC launches new program for new drivers
ICBC launches new program for new drivers

The pilot kicks off in November and drivers can sign up now. Octo, a global telematics company, was selected to offer the software.

“This Techpilot project will enable us to better understand the role that technology can play in reducing crashes for inexperienced drivers,” ICBC CEO Nicolas Jimenez said.

“But safer roads start with every driver making a conscious decision to focus on the road.”

Participants will receive rewards in the form of gift cards to popular retailers and restaurants.

According to ICBC, new drivers in B.C. are 3.5 times more at risk of getting into a crash than experienced drivers. This risk gradually decreases as new drivers gain more experience.