As of January 2021, ICBC’s road improvement program celebrated 30 years. The program means that ICBC is committed to spending money on roads and this attributes to fewer crashes, fewer injuries, and fewer wrecked cars.
For the past 30 years, ICBC’s road improvement program has created incredible innovations in road safe audits and they have invested over $209 million in more than 7,600 projects. I thank ICBC for their leadership in making our roads as safe as possible and look forward to supporting them in their endeavours.
I share their desire to make sure BC drivers and our roads are safe. When ICBC launched the road improvement program in 1990, it was the first of its kind in North America and became the model for other programs.
In its initial decade of operation, the program helped co-fund a broad range of projects including rumble strips, signals, barrier installations and intersection re-design. ICBC also looked at improving visibility on BC roads with upgraded highly reflective road signs and replacing stop signs.
In the second decade, ICBC continued to work on improving high-crash and high-risk locations. This included major projects on high-risk corridors such as Highway 3 from Princeton to Hope, reviewing sign and pavement markings for upgrades to best practices, expanding the roundabout program to new communities and completing numerous road safety audits.
In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2011-2020 to be the Decade of Action for Road Safety. The goal was to stabilize and reduce traffic fatalities. I know that ICBC has continued to work on road safety to ensure these goals are fulfilled. It is not only because of the new vehicle safety technologies added by manufacturers, but also due to ICBC’s focus on safety that traffic fatalities have continued to steadily decline.
Every year, ICBC invests approximately eight million dollars in road improvement projects and studies in BC. According to ICBC, this has led to a 24% reduction in serious crashes and 15% reduction in property damage claims.
The road improvement program is one aspect of ICBC’s commitment to help make BC roads safer. ICBC’s road safety investments focus on the systemic causes of crashes – drivers, roads and vehicles – and support programs that are proven to prevent crashes and help keep everyone safer.
Road safety is an ongoing issue and one that I hope remains at the forefront. I hope we continue to work on safe roads in British Columbia, for the good of our entire community.
Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected]