ICBC is preparing to increase rates for drivers with at-fault accidents. (Black Press files)

ICBC bad driver crackdown popular with public, survey finds

Driver penalty increases expected to take effect this fall

More than 80 per cent of B.C. residents support harsher insurance rate penalties for high-risk drivers, according to results of public feedback released Thursday by the B.C. government.

Attorney General David Eby sought input into proposed changes that would see steeper ICBC rate charges for excessive speeding, impaired driving and distracted driving, as well as bigger rate increases under the penalty point system for minor driving violations.

More than 34,000 people completed an online survey on the proposed changes, with 83.4 per cent supporting the idea of at-fault drivers in crashes paying more. Increasing rates for a single serious conviction within a three-year period, rather than allowing one at-fault claim before raising rates, was supported by 74.3 per cent of respondents.

The rate increases are being submitted to the B.C. Utilities Commission, and if approved they would take effect in the fall of 2018.

The survey showed 63 per cent support for eliminating or changing ICBC’s practice of allowing customers to pay for at-fault claims out of their own pockets, to avoid an insurance claim that would push up their rate. The most popular option, with 41 per cent support, was allowing out-of-pocket payment only for vehicle damage costing $2,000 or less.

The survey also found 75 per cent support for a fee to be charged when the registered owner does not list a secondary driver who is later found at fault in a crash.

The highest support, 91.5 per cent, was for a proposed change that would see the at-fault driver, not the registered owner, penalized with higher rates after a claim.

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