BC drivers challenged to reduce crashes in May: ICBC

May 4, 2004, BC – The provincial government, ICBC, and Autoplan brokers are challenging British Columbians to reduce the number of crashes in their communities.

Between May 5 and 27 this year, ICBC predicts there will be more than 16,000 crashes involving residents of B.C. That’s almost 700 crashes a day or a crash every two minutes. More than 7,000 residents will be injured and there will be at least one fatality a day.

Starting May 5 and running for the next 23 days, communities will focus on reducing the number of crashes involving their residents in the Community Crash Reduction Challenge.

“We want to make B.C. roads safer for everyone,” said the Honourable Rich Coleman, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The Challenge gives each one of us the opportunity to increase our awareness around driving safely, so we can work at reducing the number of crashes that occur each year in British Columbia.”

As an incentive for residents to drive safely over the Challenge period, communities and individuals are eligible for grants and prizes.

Communities have been placed into five categories, based on their population. The registered community that shows the greatest percentage reduction of crashes in their category between May 5 and 27 can win a road safety grant of between $5,000 and $35,000.

Individuals can take a pledge online at www.icbc.com to drive safely – and be eligible to win travel vouchers, cash and other prizes.

“While the winners in each prize category will be recognized in June when results are tabulated, everyone’s a winner when we reduce harm on our roads,” said Nick Geer, ICBC President and CEO.

“ICBC invests in road safety programs that provide a direct benefit through reduced claims costs,” Geer added. “These programs help keep insurance rates as low as possible for our customers.”

The Challenge has been endorsed by prominent community leaders and organizations and so far, more than 85 communities have registered. Residents can find out how they compare to other communities in their category by logging onto http://www.icbc.com. The web site also highlights some of the factors contributing to crashes in each community, and local police will be targeting unsafe speed, impairment and intersections with additional enforcement during May 5 to 27.

Schools, community groups, businesses, clubs and organizations can get involved by issuing challenges to schools, groups or branch offices in other communities.