A B.C. man wants the province to consider rewarding motorists who invest in dashcams and submit footage of bad drivers to ICBC for review.
Burnaby resident Tristan Calvo says he’s experienced countless close calls as both a cyclist and driver, from being cut off to having illegal U-turns pulled in front of him.
“It’s dangerous to go out on the road,” Calvo told Global News. “A lot of the times people are blowing red lights, stop signs.”
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Calvo now records everything with a dashcam equipped in his vehicle or a helmet cam while cycling, and he thinks he should get a break on his insurance because of it.
He envisions a program that would see motorists get ICBC discounts if they submit footage that leads to insurance penalties or charges under either the Criminal Code or the Motor Vehicle Act.
“This is a way that doesn’t cost the government anything,” said Calvo. “When somebody does something wrong you initiate it, you send it in and you get a reward for it. The person that did something wrong gets penalized for it.”
In July 2018, another driver’s dashcam helped document a close call involving Calvo’s wife, who was riding in a marked bike lane in Vancouver when she was almost run over by a large tanker truck.
While ICBC says it will happily take any video footage to help with your claim or if you were a witness to someone else’s crash, drivers who submit dashcam evidence should not expect to receive any discounts on their insurance.
In an email response to Global News, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General echoed that opinion.
“While dashcams can be useful in assessing fault in a claim, they don’t do anything to lower your risk of being in a crash, so we aren’t looking at lowering rates for anyone who uses them.”
Calvo says he wrote to Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth about his idea earlier this year.
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A written response Calvo received from the public safety ministry on July 24 says the government is focusing on implementing 35 speed-activated cameras at high-crash locations.
Five of the intersection cameras were installed in the Lower Mainland late last month to enforce against both running red lights and excessive speeding. The remaining 30 will be active across the province by the spring of 2020.
The locations were chosen based on data from 140 Intersection Safety Cameras, which were set up at various intersections and were triggered by drivers going through red lights only.
The ministry said that program has been successful in reducing crashes and changing driving behaviours.
Calvo believes if motorists knew the driver behind them could possibly have a dashcam installed, it would act as a similar deterrent.
“It’s impartial, a simple solution,” said Calvo. “Maybe if more people start talking about it, it’s something that’ll come to fruition sooner than later.”
Calvo told Global News he’ll continue sharing his dashcam driving videos online to keep the conversation going.