ICBC puts bad drivers on notice



    High-risk drivers could pay thousands more

    VANCOUVER, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - ICBC is putting BC's high-risk drivers on
notice to clean up their driving or pay more.
    The warning comes after the BC Utilities Commission's (BCUC) recent
approval of ICBC's proposal to target high-risk drivers, charging them
hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars more each year.
    "High-risk drivers are currently not paying enough given the risk they
pose on the roads. Charging bad drivers more is one way that ICBC is working
to keep rates low and stable for safer drivers," said Paul Taylor, ICBC's
president and CEO.
    The new Driver Risk Premium will apply to offences that occur on or after
January 1, 2008. Beginning in January 2009, drivers who have motor vehicle
convictions, roadside suspensions, and/or a Criminal Code driving-related
conviction will pay a Driver Risk Premium. Bad drivers have to pay the
additional annual premium for up to three years.
    High-risk drivers - those who engage in activities like excessive speed,
drinking and driving, running red lights and other forms of dangerous driving
- have a crash rate of more than twice that of other BC drivers.
    Approximately 120,000 drivers - about five percent of the province's
licensed drivers - will soon receive warning letters from ICBC. The letters
are being sent to drivers whose past driving experience would result in an
additional Driver Risk Premium if their bad driving habits continue into the
future.
    The Driver Risk Premium is tied to the driver's licence and will have to
be paid regardless of whether the driver owns or insures a vehicle. The
additional premium will be paid on top of the yearly cost of auto insurance,
with those with Criminal Code convictions paying the most.
    "The Driver Risk Premium targets those drivers who are most likely to get
into crashes which have a direct impact on claims costs," said Taylor. "The
new premium holds drivers more accountable for their actions on our roads and
the revenue generated will be used to offset premiums for good drivers."
    Drivers who receive a Criminal Code conviction, like impaired driving or
dangerous driving, will be the hardest hit with an annual Driver Risk Premium
of $905, adding up to $2,715 over three years. Drivers with multiple
convictions will pay even more.
    The new program will also identify and penalize those drivers who show a
history of high-risk driving habits. An example of this would be a driver who
receives three speeding tickets over a three-year period. That driver would
have to pay an additional premium of $350 annually.
    The Driver Risk Premium will be phased in over three years so that
eventually the annual scan will include three full years of a driving record.
The Driver Penalty Point program will be phased out over the same three-year
period and replaced with the Driver Risk Premium. The two programs will run
parallel during that time and drivers with penalty points will pay the higher
of the two premiums.

    Note: Backgrounder that accompanies this news release available at
http://www.icbc.com/inside_icbc/newsroom.asp






For further information:

For further information: Doug Henderson, (604) 982-1332; Doug
McClelland, (604) 982-2476

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