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.

Just Posted

RCMP renew request for help finding missing Nakusp man

Christopher Sanford was reported missing Aug. 5

Mishap with deer sends biker to hospital

Accident Thursday morning near Slocan Park

Car rolls down Nelson highway embankment, driver injured

Vehicle landed beside the Rosemont pedestrian trail

Pregnant Kootenay teachers fight to change compensation rules

Risk to unborn babies not recognized by WorkSafeBC

PLACE NAMES: Salmo and Slocan neighbourhoods

An an 1897 plan called for Salmo streets named Lincoln and Washington plus a Victoria Square

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Scene it? Castlegar New’s weekly photo contest

Take a guess in our weekly guess-the-location photo contest.

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

Most Read