Unsafe speed is the leading contributing factor in BC fatal crashes: ICBC

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October 17, 2006 – In every region of the province of BC last year, unsafe speed was the top contributing factor in fatal collisions. There were approximately 8,200 unsafe speed-related crashes on B.C. roads in 2005, resulting in almost 5,600 injuries and 167 fatalities.

“Consider this, the faster you drive, the more you�ll pay,” said Inspector Andy Hobbs, Vancouver Police Department Traffic Safety Division. “If you are driving between one and 20 km/h over the speed limit, you�ll be ticketed at least $138 and the fines go all the way up to $483 for excessive speeding .”

Last year, unsafe speed contributed to approximately 40 per cent of all fatal crashes in B.C., up seven per cent from the previous year. Tragically, this means 25 more people died in unsafe speed-related crashes in 2005, than in 2004.

Earlier this year � to help combat unsafe speed and aggressive driving� the provincial government, ICBC and police unveiled Air One, a helicopter geared to improving traffic safety and preventing auto crime.

Air One gives police an edge when it comes to detecting street racers, recovering stolen vehicles, and tracking speeding and aggressive drivers. The helicopter serves 17 municipal departments and RCMP throughout the Lower Mainland, moving quickly beyond municipal boundaries to catch bad drivers.

ICBC is concerned about rising claim costs, and is aggressively seeking new ways to help keep rates low and stable. There are a number of factors that can contribute to changes in claims costs including driver behaviour, driver experience, weather, the number of vehicles on the road, medical costs, legal costs and court settlement awards.

“October is Zero Crash Month, and if we want to reduce crashes drivers need to slow down,” said Laurie Baker, ICBC manager of Road Safety. ” By reducing crashes, we can save lives and reduce claims costs to help keep rates low and stable. So please ease up on the accelerator and be realistic about your travel time� factor in possible delays due to traffic, construction and weather ,” said Baker

It is predicted that 22,000 car crashes resulting in 6,000 injuries will occur in British Columbia this October. ICBC, the provincial government and local police have designated October Zero Crash Month as a reminder of the tremendous harm caused by crashes and as a challenge to make a difference.

Make your commitment to drive safely at www.zerocrashmonth.com, or by visiting your local ICBC Claim Centre or Driver Service Centre. If you remain crash and violation ticket free for the 31 days in October, you could win great prizes including, a brand-new, fully loaded 2007 GM Pontiac Torrent with a five-star safety rating.

About ICBC

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is a provincial Crown corporation established in 1973 to provide universal auto insurance to BC motorists. In addition, the Corporation is responsible for driver licensing, vehicle registration and licensing. For more information, go to www.icbc.com.