Photo radar and other questions about auto insurance rates

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
September 6, 2017 - 5:20am Updated: September 6, 2017 - 4:49pm

KAMLOOPS — Auto insurance is going up yet again — about $130 a year including both basic and optional insurance, according to an ICBC announcement yesterday.

The insurer blames it on more crashes, more claims and higher costs.

B.C. Attorney General David Eby says things are in the works to stop rates from going up even more.

For example, red light cameras at intersections will be activated 24 hours a day instead of six. As well, safety improvements will be made to the worst intersections.

Distracted driving will be targeted with new education campaigns.

And, an audit will be done to find efficiencies in ICBC’s management.

All good ideas, especially the part about intersection cameras, given that drivers nowadays think red lights mean “keep on going.”

But I have a few questions for the AG.

Why, for example, isn’t photo radar on the list? If you want to reduce the number of accidents, slowing drivers down with photo radar is the ticket.

My second question is, do you really think measures like education campaigns and going after distracted drivers will stop or lower the next increase in rates?

We already pay some of the highest premiums in the country. Studies released earlier this year say rates might have to be boosted 30 per cent by 2019, and that they could go up by 42 per cent by 2020 without a drastic overhaul of the system.

And please, Mr. Eby, could you and your boss lay off blaming the B.C. Liberals for everything? There’s no doubt ICBC was a bit of a mess under the Liberals, but if you’re going to increase rates just do it. Own it. Don’t talk about the rising number of crashes, then point your finger at your predecessors.

And here’s one more: How is dinging drivers for another 130 bucks a year making life “more affordable,” as your party promised during the election campaign?

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.