I often ask if anyone has been directly affected by a collision in the past year when I am making a presentation to a group.
I can see people thinking about it and then a few hands may tentatively rise.
My answer usually surprises them and it may surprise you as well.
About 80 per cent of the premiums that ICBC collects each year are paid out again to settle collision claims. If you are like me, we pay just over $500 per year for our basic insurance.
That means we have paid at least $400 per year directly out of our pockets for collisions whether we were in one or not!
Recently ICBC announced plans to increase the penalties for drivers who do not follow the traffic laws. This idea was immediately met with howls of protest that were loud enough to cause our government to tell ICBC that it wasn’t acceptable.
Does this mean that the drivers who are more than likely going to place us all at increased risk of collision should feel a little bit of pain but not enough potential pain to cause them to think twice beforehand?
The surest way to avoid the costs associated with collisions is not to have them in the first place.
Yes, we all make mistakes, but let’s not practise the behaviours that encourage mistakes and let’s make it more difficult for those that do.
For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.