Getting Tough on Risky Drivers
November 13, 2018
By Blair Qualey
As many of you may have read through media reports in recent days, the Province is taking a tougher stand against dangerous driving.
As of November 1st, in addition to any fines associated with an infraction, dangerous drivers now face a 20 per cent increase in the Driver Risk Premium (DRP), which is charged annually to drivers who are convicted of dangerous driving offences and the Driver Penalty Point (DPP) premium, which is a penalty for collecting four or more points from traffic violations.
It is also worth noting, drivers who fail to pay the premiums will not be allowed to renew their driver’s licence nor purchase vehicle insurance through ICBC. They’ll also be charged 19.6 per cent in interest after 60 days without payment.
High-risk driving behaviours such as speeding, failing to yield, ignoring traffic control devices, following too closely and improper passing, all increase a driver’s chances of being in a crash and putting not only themselves at risk, but other drivers as well.
According to police statistics, these behaviours contribute to nearly half (43 per cent) of all crashes that result in injuries or death in BC. In fact, on average, 143 people die in crashes involving high-risk driving each year.
As I noted in a recent column, all too often there are close calls or worse because drivers are speeding or not adhering to some of the very basic rules that accompany the responsibility that comes with getting behind the wheel.
The Attorney General has suggested that the revenue generated from these penalties will help offset overall basic insurance premiums so safer drivers are not paying for the risky driving decisions of others – and to align rates more closely with the actual cost that drivers pose to the insurance system.
The new rules come on the heels of measures that were introduced last spring to combat distracted driving, through which the Driver Risk Premium (DRP) program was adjusted to include convictions for distracted drivers who continue to put road users at risk by using electronic devices while driving.
While some may have sympathy for drivers who face increased penalties – I do not.
I would hope the threat of a significant financial penalty will cause drivers to think twice about their driving habits before getting behind the wheel. It’s a message that needs to get through to dangerous drivers, because keeping our roads safe is all of our collective responsibility.
Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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