Data on vehicle collisions lacking

Are we losing touch with how often the bad things are happening on our highways?

Every year on the first of January, I restart the collision counter on the DriveSmartBC website.

To try and keep it accurate, I check ICBC’s latest collision statistics, calculate the daily average and tweak the code that produces the display.

This year, I can’t get data on the number of people injured by impaired drivers. I’m sure that you will agree that it is an important statistic to know.

Hoping for an answer, I contacted ICBC, as they are the official keepers of the data. “Sorry,” was the prompt response. “Since the provincial government removed the requirement to report collisions to the police in 2008, we can no longer provide that data.”

As ICBC does know how many collisions involve impaired drivers, I find this answer somewhat suspect but it should still make us all pause and wonder. Are we losing touch with how often the bad things are happening on our highways?

I suspect that the main reason for the removal of the requirement to report collisions to police is the simple fact that there were just too darned many of them for the police to keep up with.

This alone is a bad sign. To me it shows that we don’t care about traffic safety because our insurance scheme will smooth things over and no one will really hurt too much. It’s just another day on the highway.

At minimum, the police should attend and report on all injury and fatal collisions. The causes of the collision should be determined and the violators held to account, both by the insurance company and the justice system.

If there are no consequences for having a collision other than inconvenience there will be less incentive to drive safely.

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley playgrounds, outdoor fitness stations now open

School District 71 and Comox Valley local governments have reopened outdoor playgrounds… Continue reading

City of Courtenay outlines changes to property tax payment options due to COVID-19

Courtenay property tax notices were mailed on May 27-28, and will be… Continue reading

Comox Museum exhibits available for online viewing

Visit all the Comox Museum exhibits from your home, on its website

Classes in Comox Valley to look a little different in June

School district senior staff has been busy prepping for re-opening

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read