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ICBC launches campaign to remind drivers to slow down on less busy roads

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is teaming up with the B.C. government to launch a month-long campaign that urges drivers to slow down.

ICBC is concerned that a decrease in cars on the road during the COVID-19 crisis is leading to an increase in speeding.

“While everyday life has recently changed for many in B.C., nothing has changed when it comes to road safety. Speed, distracted driving and impaired driving are just a few of the high-risk driving behaviours that put everyone at risk,” Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee Chief Officer Neil Dubord said.

“With the use of intersection safety cameras and dedicated police agencies throughout the province, drivers are sure to be caught and held accountable when they make the choice to disregard the rules of the road.”

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Police have observed an increase in drivers speeding in the province since a provincial state of emergency was called due to COVID-19. But there is no information available from law enforcement on how many more speeding tickets have been issued.

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The public insurer has also refused to release information on how many crashes have been reported since the pandemic.

Other jurisdictions across the country have seen insurance companies provide a rebate to drivers due to lower costs and reduced risk due to fewer cars on the road.

ICBC says it “seems safer with fewer cars on the road” but it isn’t.

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“Speeding increases your risk of crashing and reduces the amount of time you have to react to the unexpected,” the release from ICBC reads.

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“ICBC is asking that we all do our part to prevent crashes, keep people safe, and avoid putting additional pressure on B.C.’s first responders and medical resources.”

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According to ICBC, 82 people in B.C. die in speed-related crashes each year, making speed the leading cause of car-crash fatalities in the province.

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“Whether you’re a driver, rider, cyclist or pedestrian – we can all play our part over the coming months by only travelling when necessary, and taking extra care on every journey,” Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s vice-president of public affairs and driver licensing,  said.

“Driving over the speed limit really doesn’t get you there noticeably sooner, and instead increases your chances of crashing.”

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