ICBC looking to technology to help combat distracted driving

Published: April 6, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), in its continued commitment to reduce distracted driving, has issued a Request of Information (RFI) on BC Bid. The request is for market research and technology solutions that could aid in reducing distracted driving in the province.

“ICBC is interested in understanding what technological solutions are available in the marketplace to limit or prevent driver distraction resulting from the use of personal electronic devices while driving,” the corporation explained in a statement. “Exploring available anti-distracted driving technology is just one possible way to address the problem of drivers using personal electronic devices. ICBC and government remain committed to finding ways to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving.”

The ICBC worked with the B.C. government and provincial law enforcement through March on a month-long campaign against distracted driving. The aim was to educate drivers about the risks and consequences of not keeping their eyes on the road. During the awareness campaign, there were various initiatives undertaken.

The police increased vigilance to detect more drivers using cell phones or other devices behind the wheel, while Cell Watch volunteers went roadside to help detect infractions. Additionally, there were more than 70 events held in British Columbia and advertising campaigns.

At the time, the ICBC said that “despite tougher penalties and increased education, distracted driving still contributes to more than one quarter of all car crash fatalities in B.C., with an average of 78 people killed every year.”

Mark Blucher, ICBC’s president and CEO, says the public insurer is exploring technology and the RFI could lead to help in halting raising numbers of distracted drivers. The corporation is “looking at every option to deter distracted driving, including the potential use of new technologies. We understand the temptations of glancing at a ringing phone or received text message while on the road, so we’re exploring every option to prevent distracted driving. ICBC’s rates are under considerable pressure from a significant increase in crashes and we’re doing all we can to keep people safe and rates as low as possible.”